COVID-19 Resources for Farmers


 Market FarmsLivestock and Dairy FarmsRow Crop and Commodity Farms
Health & SafetyFinancial & Business Selling Online | Employment & Legal
Additional Resources


The Local Food is Essential movement supports farmers and food producers in the MN/WI food system. At MOSES, we believe that local food is essential to our local economy, to the health of our communities, and to the environment. That’s why we’re a Local Food is Essential Campaign Partner.

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Resources for Market Farmers


From Organic Broadcaster: USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program can help farmers weather pandemic

CFAP2 was developed by USDA to offset the hardship farmers may have experienced due to COVID-19. CFAP2 funds apply to more than 230 specialty crops, including fruit, vegetables, livestock, eggs, wool, floriculture, and nursery plants, as well as commodity crops and dairy. Read more about farmers’ experiences with CFAP2. Read more.


COVID-19 Risk Management on Fruit and Vegetable Farms
Extension at the University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota teamed up with FairShare CSA Coalition to create a template farmers can adapt to identify risks on their farms and then use some of the suggested practices to reduce those risks.

USDA COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Organic Producers

Lists available resources from USDA, including the link to Certification Cost Share.

From Organic Broadcaster: Farmer-nurse shares plan to manage impact of coronavirus on market farms

Small farms and small businesses may experience extreme disruption this season due to closings and cancellations to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Here are four steps you can take now to build resilience on your farm during what may prove to be a tough year. Read more.

Free Workshop Audio Recording & PowerPoint: Attract Local Customers Online

Learn how to attract buyers across the web, mobile, and social channels, and build your farm brand. See real-life examples that have worked to attract local customers and increases sales. Come away with tactical next steps and resources to develop a loyal base of customers so your farm can thrive online. Presented by Janelle Maiocco at MOSES 2020. Follow along with slides from this workshop. 

MOSES Podcast: Market Farming in a Pandemic
COVID-19 has forced us all to make big changes fast. This is especially true for market farmers. In our first episode, we talk to vegetable growers Katie Bishop and Rebecca Henderson on how they’ve adjusted so far, as well as online marketing expert Janelle Maiocco on how to quickly get started in online sales.

MOSES Podcast: Produce Safety and COVID-19
Produce safety expert Annalisa Hultberg from the University of Minnesota Extension has science-based answers to help you understand best practices for flattening the curve and feeding your community at the same time. MOSES Organic Specialist and organic fruit farmer Rachel Henderson provides a farmer’s take.


Food Safety Information for Fruit and Vegetable Producers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What We Know
This article by Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator at the University of Minnesota for on-farm food safety is a good overview of what producers should consider.

Grants for Members of Dane County Farmers Market and FairShare CSA Coalition
Member farms and food businesses may request up to $500 in grants that do not need to be repaid. Click here to contribute to the fund.

Fresh Produce Industry Resources
The United Fresh Produce Association shares industry resources to help address many commonly asked questions and provide business support.

Farmer’s Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms
The National Young Farmers Coalition has created a guide to help farmers compare the software platforms designed for online sales, without endorsing any product in particular.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Safe at the Farmers Market Cost Share program.
Eligible markets may be reimbursed up to $350 on the purchase a variety of equipment that will help markets comply with the Guidance for Minnesota Farmers Markets and Vendors (pdf).

Guidelines from Farmers Market Coalition

Minnesota Farmers Market Association COVID-19 Resources
MFMA collects recent webinars, hosts Thursday Open Zoom Forums, and offers resources for farmers market managers, vendors, and customers to make sure that our communities remain safe and food secure through the COVID-19 crisis.

Virtual On-Farm Readiness Reviews (Wisconsin)
Wisconsin produce farmers can now have virtual On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR) to assess produce safety practices to ensure they align with federal FSMA regulations. Learn more about this program offered through the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).



Resources for Livestock & Dairy Farmers


Podcast: Beef & #DairyTogether during the Pandemic
Why are conventional dairy farmers dumping milk? How are the closures of the meat processing plants impacting livestock farmers? For answers, Chuck checks in with Bobbi Wilson from Wisconsin Farmers Union and organic dairy farmer Kevin Mahalko to talk about the issues and how to build more resilient dairy and livestock farms.

USDA COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Organic Producers

Lists available resources from USDA, including link to Certification Cost Share.

Free Online Course: How to Start Selling Online in 5 Days
Alderspring Ranch in Idaho has years of experience at selling and shipping frozen beef to customers around the country. They’ve created this free step-by-step course to get your farm store up and running in no time.

Webinar Recording: Farm to Freezer
This Oregon State University webinar features two farmers sharing how their farm manages an online store and ships meat directly to customers.

Meat Business Resources
The American Association of Meat Processors offers a collection of resources for meat producers and processors.

Niche Meat Processor Assistance Listserv
Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN) hosts this Google Group listserv. On the listserv, meat producers, processors, and consultants, and others share resources and discuss trends, concerns, and realities in the supply chain.

How Can Livestock Farmers Prepare for the Coronavirus Outbreak?
This bulletin from the University of Maine offers checklists and resources for preparing your farm to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources for Dairy Farms
This curated list comes from The Center for Dairy Excellence and is focused on dairy operations and engaging your on-farm workforce in preparation to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Creates Challenges for the Cattle Industry




Row Crops and Commodities

USDA COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Organic Producers

Lists available resources from USDA, including a link to Certification Cost Share.

MOSES Podcast: Organic Grain & the Coronavirus
How is the coronavirus affecting organic grain farmers? What effect might the pandemic have on commodity prices? What should organic farmers be considering as they think about this year? Listen in on conversations with economist Ryan Koory of Mercaris and organic farmers Carmen Fernholz and Luke Peterson. Turns out, the solutions are the tried-and-true principles of organic and sustainable farming—diversify your crops and markets and join forces with other farmers.

Commodity Futures COVID Response
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued a series of temporary, targeted relief measures to designated market participants. Learn the latest measures being taken on their website.

Mercaris Special Report: 2020 COVID-19: U.S. Organic Commodity Market & Risks Outlook
This free report addresses the impact of COVID-19 on producers as they look ahead to spring planting, risks to grain marketing with uncertain demand and supply chains, changes to the landscape of organic consumer demand, how macroeconomic shifts could shape organic imports, and the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 fall harvest.
Related webinar April 15.




Health and Safety Resources

Videos on Best Practices for Small Farms
The University of Minnesota Extension has a video series with best practices for small farms in dealing with COVID. They’re posted in English, Spanish, and Hmong. See them on YouTube.

Podcast: Farmer Mental Health in this Crisis
With the incredible uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are experiencing mental health problems for the first time, and the added stress is worsening many peoples’ underlying mental health conditions. The American Psychiatric Association recently found that over a third of Americans think the coronavirus pandemic is seriously affecting their psychological health.

If you have developed erectile dysfunction due to mental health problems, generic Cialis may help you.

For this episode, Chuck has candid conversations with Emily Krekelberg, head of Minnesota Extension’s Rural Stress Task Force, and farmer and farm advocate Rick Adamski of Seymour, Wisconsin. They have personal experience with mental health issues and draw from those experiences to help others. These conversations can help you recognize mental health issues in yourself or others and give you suggestions on how to address them.

For immediate help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Farm Aid Crisis Hotline: 1-800-FARM-AID
Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline: 833-600-2670 x 1

COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Guide & Support
The University of Wisconsin’s Psychiatry Dept. has curated resources to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our community during this difficult time.

Build a Handwashing Station
The University of Minnesota provides blueprints and instructions for building a field handwashing station. This may prove to be a worthwhile addition to farmer’s market stands, farm product pick-up sites, or for field crews on your operation to manage good hand washing hygiene.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Food Distribution and Purchases
This evolving document is being developed through a partnership of several east coast organizations. It provides guidance for on-farm pickups, CSAs, farmer’s markets, and employee safety.

Managing Visitors and Deliveries to Farms
The University of Wisconsin Extension advises farms on how to manage farm operations to mitigate potential virus spread and develop on-farm protocols to protect farmers, employees, customers, and visitors.

Precautions for Accepting On-Farm Deliveries
The University of Wisconsin’s John Shutske and Cheryl Skjolaas advise farmers on what precautions to take as they accept seed, feed, amendment, and other deliveries to their farm to reduce the potential for transmission.

Research: COVID-19’s Persistence on Surfaces
As you plan sanitation and hygiene protocol for your farm, employees, off-farm sales, and during deliveries/pick-ups, it’s important to be well-informed. This New England Journal of Medicine study finds that the virus was detected up to 72 hours after application on non-porous surfaces like stainless steel and plastic and up to 24 hours on porous surfaces like cardboard. The study does not answer the question of what level of contamination is required to create an infection.

Food Safety Information for Fruit and Vegetable Producers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What We Know
This article by Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator at the University of Minnesota for on-farm food safety provides an overview of what producers should consider.

Guidelines from Farmers Market Coalition
Farmers Market Coalition is providing daily updates and announcements referencing state announcements, small business resources, and other support that pertains to farmers market sales and management.

Senior Guide to Mental Health During Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Tips for how seniors can stay healthy and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic



Financial and Business Resources

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program- What Farmers Need to Know
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition outlines the aid program for farmers impacted by the pandemic, explains who’s eligible and how to apply. The application opens May 26, 2020 through the USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA). See the FSA page.

Hardship Assistance Fund for Organic Producers
The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund, managed by CCOF, is the only fund in the nation that provides direct financial assistance exclusively to organic producers who suffer financial losses due to extreme hardship.

Patagonia COVID-19 Funding Resources
Patagonia and partners have assembled a Google spreadsheet outlining funds available for businesses and farms impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Wisconsin Farm Family Support Fund
Harvest of Hope provides financial help to Wisconsin farm families in times of need. The Harvest of Hope Fund provides grants to farm families who need financial assistance to meet emergency needs for food, home heating fuel, medical or veterinary expenses, electric power cut-offs, climatic conditions (drought, floods, frost, hail), feed for cattle, machinery repair, retraining or other immediate situations. Funding is also available to purchase seed, fertilizer, fuel, and other supplies needed.

Analysis of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition recaps the new aid package, which became law April 24. USDA’s relief plan will consist of two components: $16 billion in direct payments for commodity growers, specialty crop farmers, and livestock and dairy producers; and $3 billion in direct purchases of meat, dairy and specialty crops. Questions raised in this blog include: How will funding be divided? Will producers selling to local markets be eligible? How will payments be calculated? What documentation will be required? 

Cash Grants From American Farmland Trust
Up to $1,000 to help small and mid-size direct-market producers weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Farmers’ Guide to COVID-19 Relief
Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) has published a guide to financial relief programs, including several in the CARES Act—technically known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Farm Aid Request for Assistance

Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans
Navigate to your state to find COVID-19 Disaster Declarations, fact sheets, and resources for impacted businesses.
UPDATE April 24:
Farmers and ranchers will soon be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, in anticipation of the $484 billion aid relief bill passing the House and being signed into law this week. The EIDL program provides an emergency grant of up to $10,000 for small businesses suffering a loss of revenue because of COVID-19.

Financial Assistance Programs for Farmers During COVID-19
University of New Hampshire Extension is collecting and explaining resources on this webpage.

Grants for Members of Dane County Farmers Market and FairShare CSA Coalition
Member farms and food businesses may request up to $500 in grants that do not need to be repaid. Click here to contribute to the fund.

3 Tactics For Your Farm to Succeed in Light of Coronavirus Impacts
Barn2Door looks at three actionable tactics that farms can use to continue serving their customers by providing online ordering, safety, and convenience for shoppers.

Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Planning Tool
This template tool was devised by the Extension Disaster Education Network to help businesses and organizations prepare for epidemics.


Selling Online And Listing Opportunities

Farmer’s Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms
The National Young Farmers Coalition has created a guide to help farmers compare the software platforms designed for online sales, without endorsing any product in particular.

Webinar: Online Sales Platforms
This Oregon Tilth webinar reviews several different online sales platforms to make your farm’s products available direct-to-consumer online.

Resources for Marketing During COVID-19 Community Document
This shared document from the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) lists online marketing sites, marketing advice, and examples of online marketing that may be useful to your farm.

Farmer-Eater Exchange
Land Stewardship Project members can list products they would like to market straight to customers on this new webpage.

Minnesota Cooks – Buying Local While Social Distancing Farmers selling into Minnesota are invited to list themselves to advertise products or CSA availability. Minnesota Cooks is also inviting producers to participate in a survey on the site.

Buy Native American Food for Delivery
Uproxx hosts this national listing and ordering platform for food and farm businesses run by Native American communities. List or find native businesses and learn about some of the unique issues facing indigenous communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Employment And Legal Resources


Farm Commons Podcast, Fact Sheets, and Other Resources
Farm Commons is creating numerous resources on legal matters related to COVID-19 responses. Click the link above to see new resources or select an archived webinar from these topics:
Managing on-farm workers
– Shifting farm sales to online or CSA platforms
Diversifying farm sales
Health screening and unemployment on the farm
– Managing new laws around sick leave on your farm
– Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for Farmers

Webinar: Families First Act and CARES Act: Update for Ag Employers
This National Council of Agricultural Employers webinar recording is from April 6th and covers the various new paid leave and stimulus provisions as they pertain to agricultural employers.

FAQ Page for H-2A Employers During COVID-19
The National Council of Agricultural Employers has collected responses to frequently asked questions.

COVID-19 Guidance for Farm Employers
The University of Madison Extension’s Trisha Wagner developed this resource for farmer employers to manage and mitigate the issues around employment during the COVID-19 crisis.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
As part of the CARES Act, small business are being offered forgivable loans to ensure that employment levels and employee compensation are maintained. These forgivable loans cover payroll costs as well as many, mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs. Speak with your banker to learn more or apply. This resource from the Senate Committee is also helpful in understanding PPP. If you choose to apply, you might also appreciate this more detailed guidance from the Tax Foundation that better details potentially covered expenses.

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
See current advice and resources from the Center for Disease Control in regards to cleaning and disinfection guidance, best practices for social distancing, and strategies for implementing business-level response to COVID-19.

Planning for Extra Care on Your Farm
The Agricultural Justice Project has developed this resource about caring for farm employees and the other human resource aspects of your agricultural enterprise.

Meat Business Resources
The American Association of Meat Processors offers a collection of resources for meat producers and processors including information about labor laws.




Additional Resources and Information


Podcast: Rebuilding a Just Food System after COVID-19
COVID-19 is stressing the food system in unprecedented ways. Farmers and local food advocates have a unique opportunity to build new and more just food systems. Today’s guest is Dan Cornelius. Dan is a farmer, a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, and is the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s Technical Assistance Specialist for the Great Lakes Region. Dan shares his thoughts on food systems, the role seeds play in resilience and food sovereignty, cooperatives, and some examples from work different Tribes have been doing that pre-date the pandemic.


Uplifting Music
Playlists featuring artists that have performed at Farm Aid festivals since 1985


Farmer Crisis Hotline
Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) hosts this crisis hotline. The hotline is open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Eastern Time. The toll-free hotline is 866-586-6746

Supporting Food Banks and Food Pantries Through COVID-19
The California Association of Food Banks offers recommendations for managing hunger relief efforts during the pandemic. This resource also discusses supply chain considerations and more extensive measures that may be needed in the future if the spread continues at current rates.

The COVID-19 Crisis and the People’s Right to Food, Health, and Livelihood
This joint statement of PAN Asia Pacific and the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty dives into the current food system and health needs, concerns for rural communities access to healthcare, and addresses how food security may be impacted by speculation in production and trade marketplaces.

Six Possible Impacts of COVID-19 on Farming
The University of Wisconsin’s John Shutske and Mark Stephenson investigate the COVID-19 crisis’s potential impact on markets and farm prices, supply chain slowdowns and shortages, farmer health, workforces, worker safety and access to personal protective equipment (PPE), and other disruptions.

ATTRA’s COVID Response



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