You may be eligible for up to $250,000 in grants! FarmRaise is here to help you navigate this government application. Read on to learn whether you’re eligible, how much you can receive, and how to unlock the funding.
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) offers direct assistance to producers suffering losses due to COVID-19.
How do I apply? Applications are now open! You can submit your application through your local FSA Office or USDA Service Center until August. You may need to fill out seven different forms to complete your application, depending on whether or not you already have records established at your local service center. FarmRaise can submit paperwork on your behalf or help you complete your paperwork and deliver an application package to you so that you can file your paperwork yourself.
When should I apply? It’s a good idea to submit your paperwork as soon as you can. Although we’ve been assured that there is plenty of funding available, we understand your situation might be urgent. There will be a lag between the submission of your paperwork and the dispersion of your funds, so it’s best to get your paperwork in soon.
How can FarmRaise help? We know how stressful government paperwork can be and have built this free tool to help you apply. We’ve taken seven forms and condensed them into one application that takes less than 30 minutes. Don’t worry if you don’t have FSA records -we’ll get you set up with these, too.
How do I know if I’m eligible for CFAP? You may be eligible if:
- You produce an agricultural commodity that has suffered a 5% price decline (see Eligible Commodities, pages 1-2) or if you’ve suffered documentable losses due to supply chain disruptions brought on by COVID-19. The impacts must have occurred between January and April this year to existing inventory, and do not apply to operations for which you’ve received a guaranteed price for your commodity
- Made on average less than $900,000 in adjusted gross income over the 2016-2018 tax years OR 75% of your income during those years came from farming, ranching and/or forestry
- Be in compliance with conservation provisions (i.e. not draining a wetland or producing on highly erodible landscapes)
- Have no controlled substance violations
- Foreign people legally working in the U.S. must meet “actively engaged in farming” provisions
- For more information on eligibility, see the USDA's fact sheet
How does the government determine my payment? This Successful Farming article does a great job of breaking the process down.
Okay, so how much funding may I receive? Individual producers can receive up to $250,000 but corporations, LLC’s, and limited partnerships may receive up to $750,000 depending on shareholder time, labor, and management contributions. There is a 3-person cap for multi-member operations like LLCs, limited partnerships and corporations.
So are there strings attached? Do I need to pay this back? The CFAP relief funding is not a loan -it’s direct assistance, so you can think of it as a grant that you won’t need to repay. However, producers should be aware that they will only receive 80% of their total payment amount when their application is approved and the remaining 20% will be funded as resource availability allows.
Is it first-come, first-served? FSA representatives assured us that there is enough funding for everyone that applies to receive some assistance, regardless of how quickly they submit their paperwork. That said, if you are really hurting and in need of immediate assistance, you should apply ASAP. Funding should be paid out within 7 days of submitting your application.
Please note: we’re sharing and interpreting what we’re reading in real time about CFAP. Our guidance is not an official, legal policy or recommendation; please go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for a comprehensive and official overview for the CFAP process!