Assistance Programs

Updated 6/18/2020

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Federal Assistance Programs:

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will provide $16 billion in financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have been affected by price declines and who are experiencing additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. USDA began accepting applications May 26, 2020 and will continue through August 28, 2020. Producers should apply through their local FSA office. A list of local NM county FSA offices are available here.

For more information about CFAP please visit:

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP): Farmers to Families Food Box Program

Through the Farmers to Families Food Box program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 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 $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products. Suppliers 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 organization, and other non- profits for Americans in need from May 15 through June 30, 2020. AMS may elect to extend the period of performance of the contracts via option periods, dependant upon program success and available remaining funds, up to $3 billion.

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:

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.

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.

Farm Loan Flexibilities
USDA’s Farm Service Agency is providing additional flexibilities to provide producers with credit options in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

New Mexico Food and Nutrition Services
Waivers and Flexibilities

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Federal Assistance Programs:

 Small Business Administration Loan Forgiveness
The CARES Act includes forgiveness of loan payments for most existing SBA loans. Once implemented, you will not have to make your next six months of loan payments.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL)
This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.

SBA Express Bridge Loans
Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

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.

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