Assistance Programs

Updated 4/13/2021

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reopened CFAP 2 applications for all eligible producers on April 5, 2021. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will begin providing additional financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and producers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A deadline for signup will be announced at a later date. For more information please visit:

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program
Through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service 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 $6 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products. Distributors will package family-sized boxes with a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of dairy products, and meat products, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits for Americans in need. USDA will purchase up to $1.5 billion worth of food during the fifth round of the program, which is scheduled through the end of April. For more information please visit:

USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry CARES Act Program
The USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program is designed to offer loan guarantees to lenders who work with rural businesses and agricultural producers to supplement their working capital to prevent, prepare for and respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19. For more information please visit:

USDA’s Farm Service Agency Microloans
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) developed the microloan program to assist beginning, unique, and small to mid-sized family farm operations with their financial needs. These microloans are beneficial for farmers that often face limited financing options. FSA offers two types of microloans: direct farm ownership and direct farm operating microloans. Eligible applicants may apply for both microloans. For more information please visit:

Dumped Milk
USDA’s Risk Management Agency is ensuring that milk producers who purchased insurance are not inappropriately penalized if their milk must be dumped because of recent market disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For more information please visit:

Crop Insurance Flexibilities
USDA’s Risk Management Agency is working with those insurance providers to provide additional flexibilities in response to COVID-19. Producers can continue to work with their Approved Insurance Providers, or AIPs, on policies, claims, and agreements. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should continue to contact their insurance agents about conduction business by telephone or email. For more information, please visit:

Farm Loan Flexibilities
USDA’s Farm Service Agency is providing additional flexibilities to provide producers with credit options in response to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information, please visit:

Commodity Loan Flexibilities
Producers now have more time to repay Farm Service Agency Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL), as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. The loans now mature at 12 months rather than nine, and this flexibility is available for most commodities. For more information, please visit:

Crop Acreage Reporting
Acreage reporting is key to eligibility for many USDA programs, including crop insurance, safety net, disaster assistance, farm loan, and conservation programs. While USDA Service Centers are currently open by phone or virtual appointments only, FSA is still available to work with you on timely filing your acreage report. FSA staff are providing acreage reporting assistance through phone, email, and virtual meetings like Microsoft Teams. For more information, please visit:

Animal Mortality
While support for livestock is available through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program in some circumstances, limited markets and processing may cause livestock producers to depopulate herds. USDA NRCS offers assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help agricultural producers properly dispose of livestock that were depopulated because of impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. For more information, please visit:

Food and Nutrition Services
USDA is granting states significant program flexibilities and contingencies to best serve program participants across our 15 nutrition programs. Below are summaries of actions taken to ease program operations and protect the health of participants. For more information, please visit:

New Mexico Food and Nutrition Services
For information on waivers and flexibilities, please visit:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. SBA will be offering PPP loans until May 31, 2021. For more information please visit:

Economic Injury Disaster Loan
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and non-profit organizations are able to apply for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDL is designed to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments. For more information, please visit:

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. For more information, please visit:

SBA Debt Relief
As part of our coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. For more information, please visit:

Additional Resources:
Farm Credit Administration

Farmers Legal Action Group

New Mexico Economic Development Department

USDA – Farm Service Agency (New Mexico Office)

USDA – Natural Resource Conservation Service (New Mexico Office)

USDA – Rural Development Response

USDA – Risk Management Agency