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Financial Assistance Programs for Farmers

This information has been provided by North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (NCWRPC). 

In an effort to help farmers and other agricultural producers impacted by the duration and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the USDA and State of Wisconsin have launched several programs aimed at providing vital financial assistance to farmers that have been impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is brief descriptions of some programs available, for more detailed information on these programs, please go to the NCWRPC information HERE.

1. The USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is a $19 billion relief program that will provide financial assistance to eligible producers who have suffered a great impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. The USDA is now accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through August 28th.

Producers should apply through their local Farm Service Agency Service Center (FSA). While USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, FSA is working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools to process applications. Please call your FSA county office to schedule an appointment. A CFAP Call Center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.

2. Farmers to Families Food Box Program is an initiative of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need. Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products. Suppliers will package these products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30, 2020.

3. Wisconsin’s Farm Support Program will provide $50 million in direct payments to Wisconsin farmers, and the $15 million Food Security Initiative aimed at combating hunger in Wisconsin. Eligible farmers will be asked to apply for the aid through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, which is working in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Farm support payments could begin arriving as early as June.To receive email updates for the Wisconsin Farm Support Program, please register here.

Additionally, the Food Security Initiative will help food banks, pantries, and other nonprofit organizations purchase, process, and/or store Wisconsin agricultural products for distribution to local consumers in need. These grants will bolster Wisconsin’s food supply chain by strengthening bridges, from producers and processors to food banks and consumers. This section of the Food Security Initiative will help ensure that the funding provided in the federal CARES Act goes to help Wisconsin organizations distribute nutritious Wisconsin food products to Wisconsin consumers who need them most. Successful applicants are encouraged to partner with organizations that work directly with Wisconsin’s agricultural producers and food processors to maximize the use of Wisconsin products. To receive email updates for the Food Security Initiative, please register here.

Visit NCWRPC’s website to stay up to date on the latest news, resources, and available funding opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.