USDA announces additional funding for disadvantaged farmers

Published 8:49 pm Monday, May 10, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency recently released a press release that stated $2 million in funding will be available to organizations to assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative.

The funding was made possible by the USDA’s new Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, which aims to distribute resources more broadly and to put greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers impacted by the pandemic.

The press release also announced the reopening of FSA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) signup as part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Farmers and ranchers will have at least 60 days to apply or make modifications to existing applications.

The cooperative agreements will support participation in programs offered by FSA, including those that are part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Proposals from interested organizations must have been submitted by May 5.

Outreach and technical assistance cooperative agreements support projects that:

Increase access and participation of socially disadvantaged applicants in FSA programs and services.

Improve technical assistance for socially disadvantaged applicants related to county committees focused on urban agriculture as well as FSA programs, including loan, disaster assistance, conservation and safety-net programs.

FSA will prioritize review of proposals that support outreach on CFAP 2. To ensure effective outreach during the signup period for CFAP 2, these applications will be reviewed immediately following the submission deadline for prioritized approval and project initiation.

This funding opportunity is available to non-profits having a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (other than institutions of higher education), Federally recognized Native American tribal governments, Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments), and public and state-controlled institutions of higher education, including 1890 land grant institutions and 1994 tribal land-grant colleges and universities.

Awards will range from $20,000 to $99,999 for a duration between six months and one year.

Regarding the reopening of CFAP 2, CFAP 2 provides financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible commodities include specialty crops, livestock, dairy, row crops, aquaculture, floriculture and nursery crops. The initial CFAP 2 signup ended on Dec. 11, 2020, but USDA will reopen sign-up for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days starting from April 5th.

Producers have multiple options to apply for CFAP 2, including through an online application portal and by working directly with the FSA office at their local USDA Service Center. Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.