Starting May 26, USDA’s Farm Service Agency began accepting applications through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for direct aid payments to agricultural producers affected by price declines and additional marketing costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While NSAC is glad to see much-needed relief begin to flow to farmers, there are several shortcomings in the program that will make it more difficult for some farmers to seek relief. Our analysis suggests the program is not set up to serve all farmers experiencing impacts equitably. We expect the program to work best for operations with the simplest production systems selling into commodity and wholesale markets, making it especially tough for diversified farms and farmers selling into local/regional markets.
In addition, there are no set-asides or targeted funds for producers historically underserved by USDA, and we’re already hearing reports of language access challenges in the field.
While NSAC will continue to keep pressure on the Administration and Congress to #dobetterUSDA to provide targeted relief to producers left out, we will also be closely monitoring the rollout of this new program and ensuring farmers have the information they need to make informed decisions on whether this program is a fit for their farm.
Want to know if CFAP is right for you? Use our CFAP 101 page to learn more about the program, eligibility, payment calculations, payment case studies, and how to apply. We will be updating this page frequently as new information and resources become available. More resources from NSAC members and partners coming soon!
Are you running into issues? If you are experiencing difficulty with the application process, are being met with confusion or resistance from FSA, or are encountering any other barriers to application, please let us know. This will help us identify and fill in gaps in outreach and technical assistance, hold USDA accountable, and fight for better programming in future aid packages. Please fill out this Farmer Feedback Form created in partnership with Farm Aid to submit your questions and concerns about the program.
If you would like additional resources for troubleshooting issues or would like to speak to someone directly, please refer to the CFAP 101 page.
Ready to take further action? Stay tuned for additional action opportunities around submitting feedback on CFAP, sharing farmer stories, and telling Congress and the Administration to #dobetterUSDA. We will update this page with additional opportunities in a few days.