COVID-19 Resources

Native American Agriculture Fund COVID-19 Resource List

Last Updated June 16, 2020

We are deeply aware of the hardship and uncertainty facing our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Collectively, we must make an even greater commitment to Native agriculture to ensure food for our people.

NAAF has developed this COVID-19 resource page so that Native farmers, ranchers, fishers and Tribal governments, as well as intertribal organizations, have access to resources as they develop. We will up update it frequently, and strive to compile a listing of information that can provide quality, usable resources.

NOTE: Alongside each entry in our listing below you will see a [ ] notation. The date included within those brackets reflects the date last accessed.

All resources with a ” * ” notation are Native-serving resources.

If you know of any resources that we may have missed, please send them to info@NativeAmericanAgricultureFund.org

This section is for breaking news as it relates to Native agriculture and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This section will be updated as news comes in. Some topics will become their own sections, so please continue to check the topics below as well.

Breaking

Small Business Administration (SBA) redefines guidelines for Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) Assistance [Acc. 05/04]

The SBA has historically been prohibited from assisting the agricultural sector during disaster. New legislation in response to COVID-19 has altered this, and the deadline for application for SBA EIDL assistance has opened back up exclusively for agricultural operations.

Access the application page here

According to the SBA, the following couple of guidelines apply:

  • Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
  • SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.

For any persons who have applied for an EIDL loan before this change, their existing application will be reviewed and not need to be resubmitted.

UPDATE: FLAG releases updated CFAP Guide [Acc. 06/18]

The Farmer’s Legal Action Group (FLAG) has collected and released a large number of resources to help producers apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

  • See FLAGs Webinar Recording here.
  • Confidentially share your experience with Farm Aid the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) in accessing federal aid programs here, including CFAP.
  • Check out FLAG’s updated CFAP guide here.
  • NSAC has a one-page eligibility guide, CFAP 101.
  • FLAG’s guidance on submitting comments about additional commodities for eligibility can be found here. USDA is especially interested in hearing about aquaculture and flower petals, but keep in mind that bison are not yet counted as livestock under this program.
  • Find the Federal Register link here.

USDA releases details for direct payments from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Plan [Acc. 05/20]

Details pertaining to the application for direct payments from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Plan (CFAP) has been revealed by USDA. The application will officially open on May 26th, 2020 and close on August 26, 2020. $16 billion in direct payments will be made to producers from two distinct pools, detailed below. Please visit Farmers.gov/cfap for further information on eligibility, how to apply, and most importantly, how to find your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office if you’ve not done so already. All applications should begin with a phone call to your FSA agent to set up a meeting at your local office.

Producers who have suffered a 5% or greater price decline due to COVID-19 as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities will be eligible to apply. There is a maximum of $250,000 per producer for all commodities combined, and producers should see their payment within a week of enrollment.

Payments will be made in two phases; 80% of their maximum total payment will be made upon approval of the application. The remaining 20% will be paid out at a later date as funds remain available. This later date has not yet been announced.

Payments will be made to producers of non-specialty crops (including wool), livestock, dairy (click this link and scroll down for more information), and specialty crops.

How payments will be calculated can be found at the links above. Please consult with your local FSA agent as soon as possible to maximize your preparedness for application.

Application for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Direct Payments Materials Released [Acc. 05/13]

USDA will be providing $16 billion in direct payments through the CFAP program. Producers interested in receiving direct payments from USDA through CFAP will need to contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office and arrange an appointment.

Access the requirements, direct deposit information, FSA locations, and further information here.

Not getting the information you need from the link above? USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and FSA will be hosting a webinar on CFAP, and urges producers who have not associated their farm or ranch with FSA to attend for more information.

Register for the webinar here.

USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program [Acc. 04/28]

USDA Releases the Farmers to Families Food Box Request for Proposal (RFP), which allows a farm to form a contract with the USDA for purchase of a box of agricultural products.

Read the RFP here (Due May 1, 2020)

Read the RFP’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here

Read USDA’s official information page here

USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), a $19B relief package for immediate relief for farmers and ranchers, as well as food chain security. [Acc. 04/17]

Read the official press release here.

Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers: $16B in direct support based on actual losses for producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs.

USDA Purchase and Distribution: $3B in fresh produce, dairy, and meat will be purchased in by USDA in partnership with regional and local distributors whose workforce has been significantly impacted by restaurants, hotels, and food service industries.

Food will be procured according to the following schedule. Amounts per month are estimates.

  • $100 million per month in fresh produce
  • $100 million per month in fresh dairy
  • $100 million per month in fresh meat

Distributors and wholesalers will then provide pre-approved boxes of these products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

On top of these targeted programs USDA will utilize other available funding sources to purchase and distribute food to those in need.

USDA has up to an additional $873.3 million available in Section 32 funding to purchase a variety of agricultural products for distribution to food banks. The use of these funds will be determined by industry requests, USDA agricultural market analysis, and food bank needs.

The FFCRA and CARES Act provided an at least $850 million for food bank administrative costs and USDA food purchases, of which a minimum of $600 million will be designated for food purchases. The use of these funds will be determined by food bank need and product availability.

Further details regarding eligibility, rates, and other implementation will be released at a later date.

Announcement of Tribal Relief Dollars from CARES Act [Acc. 05/27]

Tribal COVID-19 Relief Allocation Methodology [Acc. 05/27]

Guidance for Tribes for Completing Supplemental Request for Information [Acc. 05/27]

General COVID-19 Review

News and Webinars

*National Congress of American Indians [Acc. 04/30]

*Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative Webinars [Acc. 04/30]

*Intertribal Agriculture Council, COVID-19 Resources [Acc. 04/30]

*First Nations Oweesta Resource Page [Acc. 05/13]

*Harvard University – COVID-19 Resources Toolbox for Indian Country [Acc. 04/30]

FarmAid [Acc. 04/30]

University of Arkansas, Cooperative Extension Service [ Acc. 04/23]

Legislation at a Glance

Senator Wyden’s Office [Acc. 04/30]

Congressional Research Service [ Acc. 04/30]

Farmer’s Legal Action Group Resources [Acc. 05/06]

Stimulus Bill Summaries [Acc. 04/27]

  1. https://appropriations.house.gov/sites/democrats.appropriations.house.gov/files/Coronavirus%20Supp%20Summary%203.4.20.pdf
  2. https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/issue-brief/the-families-first-coronavirus-response-act-summary-of-key-provisions/
  3. https://res.cloudinary.com/nafoa/image/upload/v1585230338/congressional-documents/2020-03-25_SCIA_Tribal_wins_summary_SCIA2.pdf

USDA

USDA COVID-19 News and Alerts [Acc. 04/30]

USDA – Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) [Acc. 04/30]

USDA Farmers Assistance [Acc. 04/30]

USDA – Rural Development’s Response, Actions, and Impacts in Response to COVID-19 [Acc. 04/30]

USDA – Farm Service Agency (FSA) – Changes to Farm Loan, Disaster, Conservation, and Safety Net Programs [Acc. 04/30]

Federal

Agriculture

USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture [Acc. 05/27]

USDA – Rural Development [Acc. 05/27]

Small Business Association – Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) [Acc. 06/16]]

As of June 15, 2020, SBA has re-opened applications for small business including agricultural operations. For ag operators who have already placed an application, there is no need to reapply, as your existing application will still be reviewed.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

General List for Young and Beginning Farmers [Acc. 05/27]:

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s)

All currently identified funding opportunities have deadlines that have passed. We will continue to monitor for future grants that offer COVID-19 relief for CDFIs.

Health

*CDC COVID-19 Funding for Tribes [Acc. 05/27]: https://www.cdc.gov/tribal/cooperative-agreements/covid-19.html

*FEMA Funding for Tribes [Acc. 05/27]

Non-Federal

Agriculture

CCOF, Assistance for Organic Crop Producers [Acc. 05/27]

Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Farmer’s Guild [Acc. 05/27]

General

*NDN Collective COVID-19 Relief Fund [Acc. 05/27]

Community Foundation: A List by State of Relief Fund Opportunities [Acc. 05/27]

GivingCompass [Acc. 05/27]

Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund (MDRF) [Acc. 05/27]

South Dakota Community Foundation [Acc. 05/27]

Farmers’ Guide to COVID-19 Relief
Third Edition
August 4, 2020

http://www.flaginc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Farmers%E2%80%99-Guide-to-COVID-19-Relief-3rd-Edition-August-4-2020.pdf

U.S Small Business Administration [Acc. 04/30]:

NOTE: Please check eligibility requirements before applying.

CISA Emergency Farm Fund [Acc. 04/30]:

Congressional Research Service – COVID-19 Related Loan Assistance for Agricultural Enterprise [Acc. 04/30]

Community Supported Agriculture

Best Practices, Local Market Finder, Webinars, and Impacts for Farmers [Acc. 04/21]

How Farmers Can Reach Markets During COVID-19 [Acc. 04/21]

Best Practices for Producers and Agricultural Employers

AgSafe: Safe Practices Checklist for Agricultural Practices [Acc. 04/21]

AgSafe: Webinars for Best Practices [Acc. 04/21]

AgriSafe: What Producers Need to Know About COVID-19 [Acc. 04/21]

FarmAnswers: What Farmers Need to Know [Acc. 04/21]

National Center for Appropriate Technology: Product-Specific Producer Resources [Acc. 04/21]

GroundForGood: General Resources Page for COVID-19 [Acc. 04/21]

Legal Resilience on the Farm Through COVID-19 Podcast [Acc. 04/21]:

Farm Answers – Library [Acc. 04/14]

Insurance

USDA Adds Crop Insurance Flexibilities [Acc. 04/21]

USDA Announces Loan Maturity for Marketing Assistance Loans, extended to 12 months [Acc. 04/14]

Unemployment during COVID-19

Introduction to Unemployment Insurance [Acc. 04/21]

How Many Weeks of Unemployment Insurance are Available? [Acc. 04/21]

Unemployment Insurance During COVID-19 [Acc. 04/21]

Below is a collection of webinars related to Native agriculture relief and response during COVID-19.

Guiding Native Farmers Through COVID-19 Relief & Recovery

FarmBureau: Coronavirus sends Crop and Livestock Prices into a Tailspin [Acc. 04/21

W.K. Kellogg Foundation: Resources, Tips, and Toolkits from Grantees and Partners [Acc. 04/21]

Jayson Lusk, Food and Agriculture Economist [Acc. 04/21]

USDA

COVID-19 and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) [Acc. 04/30]

Ordering Indigenous Foods Online

*The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development [Acc. 04/30]

Small Business Administration

How to Apply for Small Business Loans (Made in California, applicable across US) [Acc. 04/30]

Overview of COVID-19 Loan Forms (Made in California, applicable across US) [Acc. 04/30]

Tax Credits for COVID-19 Related Leave [Acc. 04/30]

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program [Acc. 06/16]]

Small Business Owner’s Guide to COVID-19 [Acc. 04/30]

Export-Import Bank of the United States – Relief Measures for Exporters and Financial Institutions [Acc. 04/30]

Annuity.com Financial Literacy During COVID-19 [Acc. 05/06]

National Council of Urban Indian Health 

Food Research & Action Center, H.R. 6201 (2nd COVID-19 relief bill) Summary [Acc. 04/21]: https://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/h.r.-6201-top-line-summary-nutrition-provisions.pdf

Food Research & Action Center H.R. 784 (3rd COVID-19 relief bill) Summary [Acc. 04/21]: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Coronavirus%20Supplemental%20Appropriations%20Summary_FINAL.pdf

NAFOA, Legislative Review of Phases 1-3 of COVID-19 Federal Relief Bills [Acc. 04/21]

Master Gardener Courses, Oregon State University [Acc. 04/21]

Creating Community Gardens (Pacific Northwest) [Acc. 04/21]

North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension [Acc. 04/18]

Indian Health Service

FAQs [Acc. 04/30]: https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/faqs-federal-response-in-indian-country/

Testing Resources [Acc. 04/30]

List of Health Departments [Acc. 04/30]

National Congress of American Indians COVID-19 Data Summary [Acc. 04/29]

Facilitators for Pandemic Response: How to Work Online Effectively [Acc. 04/21]

Contacts for New York (NY) Farmers [Acc. 04/21]:
Please use the below as an example of the types of contacts agricultural producers may want or need to contact during these trying times.

Relief Response Funds

NAAF cannot accept outside donations, but will search for and post donation links to other organizations working to provide COVID-19 relief to Native communities.

Key Provisions enacted in CARES Act

Agriculture

Source: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Blog [Acc. 04/06]: https://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/closer-look-farmer-relief-senate-pandemic-package/

Agriculture Provisions (S.3548)

Specialty Crop Producers
Livestock Producers
Local Food Supply Producers
$9,500,000,000
 Commodity Credit Corporation
– for net realized losses
 $14,000,000,000
 The ability to extend marketing assistance loans to 12 months
 Rural Broadband ReConnect Pilot
– for projects with at least 90% rural households
– minimum 10 Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds
– priority for existing project applicants
 $100,000,000
 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) $55,000,000
 Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) $45,000,000
 Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)
– including temporary workers, relocation, and overtime
 $33,000,000
 Farm Service Agency (FSA)
– including temporary workers and overtime
 $3,000,000
 Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
– to recall overseas employees and their families
 $4,000,000
 Office of the Inspector General (OIG)  $750,000
Rural Business Cooperative Service (RBCS)
– for 310B rural business loans
$20,500,000
Rural Utility Service (RUS)
– for telemedicine and distance learning
$25,000,000

Tribal

Below is a summary of the key tribal provisions.
Credit to National Congress of American Indians [Acc. 04/02]

Economic Development & Employment

  • Provides $454 billion for loans, loan guarantees, and investments in support of the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities to eligible businesses, states, tribal nations, and municipalities
  • Provides an $8 billion set-aside for tribal nations from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to use for expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Makes Tribal Business Concerns eligible for the Small Business Act Section 7(a) program, which will provide 100 percent federal loan guarantees up to $10 million to cover costs such as employee salaries, paid sick leave/medical leave, mortgages/rents, and employee health insurance premiums
  • Authorizes the federal government to provide a 50 percent reimbursement for the cost of unemployment compensation to tribal nations that are reimbursement-option employers
  • Makes tribal fishery participants eligible for assistance from the Department of Commerce, including direct relief payments

Tribal Governance & Housing / Community Development

  • $453 million for Indian Affairs Operation of Indian Programs until September 30, 2021
  • $300 million authorized through September 30, 2024 for Department of Housing and Urban Development Native American Programs:
    • $200 million for the Indian Housing Block Grants (IHBG) formula
    •  $100 million for Indian Community Development Block Grants (ICDBG)

Health, Education, & Nutrition

Health

  • $1.032 billion for Indian Health Services
    • Up to $65 million is for electronic health record stabilization and support
    • Not less than $450 million will be distributed through IHS directly operated programs and to tribes and tribal organizations under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, and through contracts with or grants to urban Indian organizations under Title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act
    • $125 million may be transferred to and merged with the “Indian Health Service, Indian Health Facilities” account
  • Not less than $15 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration for telehealth and rural health activities
  • Not less than $15 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Health Surveillance Program
  • Not less than $15 million from the Public Health Service and Social Services Emergency Fund for essential medical resources
  • Not less than $125 million set aside from the Centers for Disease Control – Wide Activities and Program Support account
  • Extension of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians through November 30, 2020
  • $4.5 million for tribal domestic violence shelters through the Family Violence and Prevention Services Act (10 percent tribal set-aside from $45 million overall)
  • Extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program through November 30, 2020
  • $20 million for the Older Americans Act, Tribal Nutrition Program, which provides funds for the delivery of nutrition services to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian elders
  • $900 million for Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), which includes Tribal LIHEAP

Education

  • $69 million for Operation of Indian Education Programs until September 30, 2021
    • Not less than $20 million shall be for Tribal Colleges and Universities
  • $78,000 for the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development
  • Education Stabilization Fund:
    • $153.75 million set aside for programs operated or funded by the Bureau of Indian Education
    • $1.046 billion for Minority Serving Institutions, which include but are not limited to, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, and Native American Serving Non-tribal Institutions
  • Access to Institute of Museum and Library Services grants:
    • $50 million to states, territories, and tribal nations to expand digital network access, purchase internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services
    • Any matching funds requirements for tribal nations are waived for grants
  • Bureau of Indian Education and tribally-controlled schools are eligible for Department of Education waivers for statutory and regulatory requirements related to assessments, accountability, and reporting requirements, in addition to grant requirements such as restrictions on carryover funding and certain requirements under the Student Supports and Academic Enrichment Grants program, including the needs assessment, certain spending restrictions, and the limitation on technology spending

Nutrition

  • $100 million for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR):
    • $50 million for facility improvements and equipment upgrades
    • $50 million for costs relating to additional food purchases
  • $8.8 billion for Child Nutrition Programs