Growing Food is Not Cancelled

A local food systems approach to Covid 19Save

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Get Growing!

During this pandemic we wish you health, sanity, and plenty of access to local food. Whether you grow yourself or buy from farmers, here are some resources to support. This page was last updated on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.Save

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For Farmers

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Advocacy & Legislation

CFSA’s COVID-19 Farmers Market Advocacy Toolkit

CFSA Farmer Letter on Climate Change Solutions in Agriculture — please sign

Civil Eaats: The Fight to Keep Farmer’s Markets Open During Coronavirus

Disruption of agriculture labor needs addressed by agencies

Farm Aid: Online directory with more than 750 organizations that work directly with farmers nationwide

HEAL’s Response to Congress’ COVID-19 Aid Package

National Young Farmers Coalition COVID-19 Response & Updates

  • NYFC Survey: Please fill out this brief survey to help us gather more information about the resources and support that would be most helpful to you and your operation at this time.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: Petition for COVID-19 aid to get to farmers and food systems

NSAC: USDA is making critical decisions this week about how to disburse billions in aid funding intended for farmers and ranchers impacted by COVID-19. Help ensure that aid is distributed equitably, reaches farmers selling into local and regional markets, is delivered in a simple and accessible manner, and goes to producers, not corporate agribusiness.
 
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has signed on and we encourage our organizational partners to sign on too. Lenders, nonprofits, businesses, farmer groups, and more: please join us! SIGN ON DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 6 PM EASTERN Sign on here: https://forms.gle/yQGbwLTdfMZH7V5N7

Support These 35+ Organizations Helping Restaurants, Workers, and Farmers Survive COVID-19

Examples of Legislation to Define Farm / Workers Rights During COVID-19:

Kentucky

Maryland

Minnesota

New York

Farmers Bill of Rights, [2/11/20] Resolution in Senate

Legalities of Traveling for Farm Workers During Stay at Home Order

Commissioner Steve Troxler and his staff have been working overtime to assure that farming and its support businesses are deemed essential in case a local government or our state government issues a “shelter in place” order. The US Department of Homeland Security lists agriculture and its support businesses are an essential workforce.

MEMORANDUM ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE

A number of counties and municipalities either have issued or are intending to issue a “shelter in place” order. Below is a link to a form issued by Commissioner Troxler stating that Agriculture operations, farming and support businesses are considered essential and the farm/businesses’ employees are authorized to work.

Notice of Essential Food & Agriculture Employee Form (NC)

Please fill in the blanks, and place on your vehicle’s dashboard or tape to your tractor window.

Articles & Written Resources

BIPOC Farmers COVID-19 Skillshare Series (with Soul Fire Farm)

Cornell University: Building Farm Resilience in this Crisis

Farm Commons Podcasts:

  • Are farms obligated to provide 2-12 weeks of paid leave to employees who get sick or who stay home to care for children? The answer is…. yes, maybe! Check it out in Episode 17
  • Looking at signing up for an online sales platform? Take a look at the fine print before you sign. Listen to Episode 15.
  • Farmers are rightly concerned their families could be harmed by the virus, brought into their home by infected employees. Can farmers require “social distancing” or send home employees who are symptomatic? Can farmers take employee temperatures? Restrict movement off the farm? We have guidance in Episode 16 and Episode 13.
  • Launching a farm stand or doing distribution yourself and/or with other farmers? Watch out for the zoning code and other legal obligations that quickly shift once the farm starts doing delivery or direct sales. Episode 14

Food Systems Leadership Network COVID-19 Response Group: This listserv, unique among the many opportunities we as food systems leaders have to connect and share information and resources, is focused specifically on identifying, amplifying, and replicating the solutions, innovations, and collaborations that are emerging in communities across the US in response to and in the wake of COVID-19. We hope it will be a dynamic venue for exploring and acting on our best ideas for driving resilience and equity in our communities, and be a platform for organizing around needed resources, policy shifts, collaborations, or other actions.

NC Extension’s COVID-19 Resource Portal

Michigan State University: For an ongoing list of articles on COVID-19 and it’s effect on the broader food system, please check out this document compiled by Michigan State University Grad Student Vanessa Garcia Polanco.

WCQS Food Safety & The Coronavirus Recording

A reminder that Buncombe Extension Agents are still available via email, phone and other technological means, and will continue to assist you to the best of their ability. Contact information for our Buncombe County Extension Staff can be found at: https://buncombe.ces.ncsu.edu/people/ To reach the Small Farms Agent, Meghan Baker, please call 828/250-4883 or email at Meghan_Baker@ncsu.edu. Voicemail is checked multiple times a day.
Audio Education

Farm Commons Podcasts:

  • Are farms obligated to provide 2-12 weeks of paid leave to employees who get sick or who stay home to care for children? The answer is…. yes, maybe! Check it out in Episode 17
  • Looking at signing up for an online sales platform? Take a look at the fine print before you sign. Listen to Episode 15.
  • Farmers are rightly concerned their families could be harmed by the virus, brought into their home by infected employees. Can farmers require “social distancing” or send home employees who are symptomatic? Can farmers take employee temperatures? Restrict movement off the farm? We have guidance in Episode 16 and Episode 13.
  • Launching a farm stand or doing distribution yourself and/or with other farmers? Watch out for the zoning code and other legal obligations that quickly shift once the farm starts doing delivery or direct sales. Episode 14

WCQS Food Safety & The Coronavirus Recording

Skillshare & Networks

BIPOC Farmers COVID-19 Skillshare Series (with Soul Fire Farm)

Food Systems Leadership Network COVID-19 Response Group: This listserv, unique among the many opportunities we as food systems leaders have to connect and share information and resources, is focused specifically on identifying, amplifying, and replicating the solutions, innovations, and collaborations that are emerging in communities across the US in response to and in the wake of COVID-19. We hope it will be a dynamic venue for exploring and acting on our best ideas for driving resilience and equity in our communities, and be a platform for organizing around needed resources, policy shifts, collaborations, or other actions.

A reminder that Buncombe Extension Agents are still available via email, phone and other technological means, and will continue to assist you to the best of their ability. Contact information for our Buncombe County Extension Staff can be found at: https://buncombe.ces.ncsu.edu/people/ To reach the Small Farms Agent, Meghan Baker, please call 828/250-4883 or email at Meghan_Baker@ncsu.edu. Voicemail is checked multiple times a day.
 
Food & Land Sovereignty Resource List for COVID-19  LIST COMPILED BY SOUL FIRE FARM, BLACK FARMER FUND, AND NORTHEAST FARMERS OF COLOR. These are NEEDS and OFFERS for specific mutual aid related to community food sovereignty and farmers.
 
 
Past Webinar Recordings
Food Safety in Time of Covid 19 from Chesapeake Harvest: Webinar recording and the powerpoint slides for future reference. 

COVID-19: The State & Future of Pandemics — Singularity University

Chesapeake Harvest: Food Safety in the time of Covid 19: recording and the powerpoint slides for future reference.

Farm/Food Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic — New Entry Coalition (no recording available due to technology fail)

Food Industry Responses to COVID-19 — James Beard Foundation

Food Systems Friday Webinar Series — Prescott College

Mountain BizWorks: Navigating Covid 19 resources for small businesses 

NC Extension: Always Be Cleaning & Santizing, & Understanding Disinfection Webinar

Online Sales Platforms for Farmers — Oregon Tilth (register to view recording)

What Ag Producers Need to Know About COVID-19 — Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety & Health Center

Update from CDC on Direct to Consumer Food Delivery

Upcoming Webinars
4/8 Webinar:
 
The Wallace Center: Navigating the CARES Act: 4PMEST

As organizations across the country mobilize to address the unprecedented financial hardships that farm and food businesses are faced with due to Coronavirus, many are wondering if and how the $360 billion in forgivable loan programs authorized under the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act can help. The Payroll Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program are designed to give immediate financial relief to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the administration of these programs is starting in real time, with new information coming out daily, and confusion remains over if and how these SBA Assistance Programs can help farms and food businesses 

In response to requests for guidance on helping food and farm businesses navigate the CARES Act financial assistance programs, the Wallace Center is hosting an informal briefing tomorrow, Wednesday April 8 at 4pm EST. This call is intended for Technical Assistance providers, support organizations, and other advocates who are assisting small to midsize farmers and food enterprises primarily working in local and regional value chains to access emergency assistance.

Please register for the briefing here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You will automatically be added to a waiting room after which our staff will admit you to the meeting. 

Note that due to heightened security risks on Zoom, this meeting will be password protected.  

4/9 Webinar:
How to Create a Free Online Store: The North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center will offer a webinar on How to Create a Free Online Store for Your Farm on Thursday, April 9, 2020, from 7–9 p.m. Agriculture Extension Agent Debbie Roos will walk participants step-by-step through the process of setting up a basic, free online store through Square that will allow folks to accept pre-orders and payments for items to be picked up at the farm, farmers’ market, or other location.
Funding

FEDERAL FUNDING RESOURCES

CARES Act:

FACT – Emergency Mini Grant for Livestock & Poultry Farmers

Payroll Protection Plan (PPP): On April 10, Sole proprietors, independent businessmen/women may apply for the Payroll Protection Program loan (8 weeks is FORGIVEABLE and that includes utilities/rent as long as those expenses don’t exceed 25%). In other words, the program is meant to provide 8 weeks of payroll as a grant. Expenses to cover overhead for the operation–utilities, rent, etc.–are also included for the 8-week period, but may not exceed 25% of the total.  The program is capped for yearly employee compensation of $100,000. Applicants must apply through their bank, which must be an SBA institution. Sample application here. More articles about the PPP linked below.

 

EMERGENCY RELIEF

American Farmland Trust launches Farmer Relief Fund

F.A.R.M.S. Emergency Relief for Rural Farmers

Georgia Organics Farmer Fund — COVID-19 Emergency Relief For Farmers

RAFI Inquiry Form: Inquiry Form for Emergency Mini-Grants for Farmers impacted by COVID19 from RAFI-USA. *This is not a grant application.* Fill out this form to be notified of the future grant opportunity.

 

LOANS

NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending Program for Small Businesses and Farms

Mountain Bizworks NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan

One Buncombe Fund, loans available for small businesses located in Buncombe County, NC.

 

GRANTS/MUTUAL AID

Food & Land Sovereignty Resource List for COVID-19  LIST COMPILED BY SOUL FIRE FARM, BLACK FARMER FUND, AND NORTHEAST FARMERS OF COLOR. These are NEEDS and OFFERS for specific mutual aid related to community food sovereignty and farmers.

Georgia Organics COVID-19 Direct to Consumer Online Marketing Subsidies

Natural Capital Investment Fund Small businesses affected by COVID-19 in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are eligible to apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

RAFI Mini-Grants for Farmers: Purpose of Funds: The mini-grant funding is $500 and is meant to lessen the immediate financial needs of farmers and their households. This means funds could cover expenses like food, medical bills, utility bills, etc. The funds are NOT meant to cover farm production expenses. Eligibility: Currently we are only able to award funding to farmers in North Carolina. Depending on funding we may be able to expand this demographic range. If you are not in NC you can still fill out an inquiry form here in the event our funding increases. You can access the word doc version of the application here.

 

CONSERVATION PROGRAMS/FUNDING CURRENTLY OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS

Sign-up is currently open in many states for conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP – now has an advance payment option) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP – now has a minimum payment that makes it more worthwhile to smaller farms)!

COVID note: While many USDA NRCS offices are currently only accessible via phone and email, it’s possible to sign up for these programs without an in-person visit! Call to begin the process.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):

Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) (including CLEAR):

Conservation Reserve Program Transition Incentives Program (CRP-TIP):

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

Markets & Marketing

ASAP Market @ AB Tech

Asheville Online Farmers Market Facebook Group

Civil Eaats: The Fight to Keep Farmer’s Markets Open During Coronavirus

Collaborative Marketing Software Programs:

E-Book: Is shipping right for your farm?

Economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Farms Selling Through Local and Regional Markets

Farm Commons Podcasts:

  • Looking at signing up for an online sales platform? Take a look at the fine print before you sign. Listen to Episode 15.
  • Launching a farm stand or doing distribution yourself and/or with other farmers? Watch out for the zoning code and other legal obligations that quickly shift once the farm starts doing delivery or direct sales. Episode 14

Farmers Market Coalition Response to COVID-19

Georgia Organics COVID-19 Direct to Consumer Online Marketing Subsidies

Georgia Organics Good Food Guide

LocalListNC – for all small businesses in Durham & Orange County, and farms that serve these counties.  Farms can create and update their listing, consumers can search for ways to support businesses.

NC Extension Online Sales Platforms for Direct to Consumer Sales

  • Assistance for Selling Agricultural Products: The North Carolina Department of Agriculture is aware that farmers have seen disruptions in their normal distribution during this period of COVID-19 and social distancing. Retailers have seen panic buying patterns and are challenged to keep produce in stock and merchandised. If you are a NC grower of produce and looking to sell products that you don’t have a market for, we want to know. We will be compiling information, from NC growers, to distribute to major retailers on a weekly basis. This is not to be used as an alternate for markets that you already have. This service is set up to help those who don’t have markets to sell what they would normally. Call us weekly to update your availability and be listed in the distribution. This service will last until we no longer see a major need from the growers or interest from the retailers.

Patchwork Producers Alliance & Mother Earth Produce:

  • We are establishing a producer’s alliance on a local food marketplace website. We are partnering with Mother Earth Food. The website is set up as a multi-vendor market. If you want to be in the loop, and aren’t already please email: PatchworkOM@gmail.com

  • Mother Earth Foods Product Availability Form

RAFI: Supportive Alternative Sales Options for Direct to Market Farmers

Triangle Online Farmers Market

A COVID-19 Food Access Resource Map AND a COVID-19 Farm & Farmers Market Map are now available for the Charlotte region (NC & SC Counties). To add to or update information to the maps, use the surveys linked below:

Food Access Resource Survey – http://tiny.cc/covid19foodresourcesurvey
(for non-profits, agencies, pantries, faith based organizations, school distribution sites, etc.)

Farm & Farmers Market Survey – http://tiny.cc/covid19farmmarketsurvey 
(for direct-to-consumer farms and farmers market managers) 
 
To share the maps, use the links below: 
 
Food Access Resource Map – http://tiny.cc/covid19foodresources 
 
Farm & Farmers Market Map – http://tiny.cc/covid19farmandmarket  
 
For more information, please email Erin, Senior Project Manager for Rivendell Carolinas, at ehostetler@energyenviro.org
Safety Considerations

Agricultural Justice Project: Sign up for the newsletter here. Click here for AJP’s 2 page guidance for farms specifically on how to consider coronavirus in health & safety on the farm. It includes links to easy-to-understand infographics that can be posted for workers & short video clips that workers & farm & ranch managers can listen to or watch in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, & Maya Mam. For instructions on making a simple field handwashing station click here. There are additional portable homemade hand field station ideas images here & here for inspiration. For a more general guide to creating a comprehensive health & safety plan on your farm see an excerpt from their farmer toolkit here.

Farm Commons Podcasts:

  • Farmers are rightly concerned their families could be harmed by the virus, brought into their home by infected employees. Can farmers require “social distancing” or send home employees who are symptomatic? Can farmers take employee temperatures? Restrict movement off the farm? We have guidance in Episode 16 and Episode 13.
 

Food Safety & Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide

NC State Extension COVID-19 Food Safety Resources

Preliminary study on COVID-19 virus survival times on 4 surfaces

Safety Protocols For Food Distribution & Purchases During COVID-19

The National Farmers Market Coalition — farmers markets as public gathering spaces

NC Extension: Always Be Cleaning & Santizing, & Understanding Disinfection Webinar

United Fresh: Fresh Produce Industry Resources

WCQS Food Safety & The Coronavirus Recording

For Gardeners

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Education
Supplies & Resource Sharing

Asheville/Buncombe Fruit & Nut Club Listserv — perrennial plants available for lower prices than nurseries. Just ask!

Compost Now Garden Partners

Fifth Season Gardening Co is still open for business

For Consumers

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Purchasing Direct

A Local Foodie’s Guide to COVID-19

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s On Farm Pickup (& more) List – NC & SC farms can request to have their farm’s offerings added, consumers can search offerings

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Projects’s Interim Farmers Market

Farmers Market Coalition

Georgia Organics Good Food Guide

LocalListNC – for all small businesses in Durham & Orange County, and farms that serve these counties.  Farms can create and update their listing, consumers can search for ways to support businesses.

Mother Earth Foods Delivery Options 

NCDA’s VisitNCFarms – app with farm offerings and some COVID updates

Organic Growers School Farm Network

Triangle Online Farmers Market – Triangle area farmers can post about their offerings

Resources by Region

Southern SAWG has established a working, editable document for resources throughout the Southeast, organized by state. The document is intended to assist individuals, farmers, nonprofits, restaurants and small businesses in finding state specific information on COVID-19.

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Georgia

Community Farmers Markets

Food Well Alliance

  • FWA Survey: “Farmer Needs During COVID-19” In order to coordinate resources, funding, and support systems, we need to understand how farmers are being impacted. Please fill out this form to help us determine how we can best support you during this pandemic, and how we can work to find solutions to the logistical challenges in front of us.
  • Purchasing Local Food

Georgia Organics COVID Resource Page

Georgia Organics Farmer Fund — COVID-19 Emergency Relief For Farmers

Tennessee

University of TN: COVID-19 Resources

South Carolina

Eat Smart Move More list of resources including best practices.

List of SC Grown Farmers across the state.

Lowcountry Local First advocates for local businesses (including farmers) in South Carolina and has already begun gathering feedback from their members through this survey to collect and share ideas for weathering this storm and supporting local businesses and farmers safely during this crisis

SCACED Compiled list including funding, utility information and business support.

  • The SC Office of Rural Health’s resource page provides guidance for healthcare workers, recommendations for the public, and travel advisories.
  • SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center has created a comprehensive database for South Carolina families searching for answers about food access, housing, consumer protection, healthcare and other developments.  
  • SCACED has put together a list of resources of community development organizations

South Carolina Dept of Ag COVID-19 Resources

Together SC’s resource page includes resources for Non-Profits.

“What to do if the Coronavirus comes to call”