Assistance Programs


Updated 1/29/2021

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2
USDA announced that additional assistance will be available through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for certain agricultural producers who continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA’s Farm Service Agency is now accepting new or modified applications starting January 19 through February 26, 2021. For more information please visit: https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.

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: https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food-to-usda/farmers-to-families-food-box.

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: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-and-industry-cares-act-program

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: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/microloans/index.

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: https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

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:
https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

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: https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

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: https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

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: https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

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:  https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

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: https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19

New Mexico Food and Nutrition Services
For information on waivers and flexibilities, please visit:
https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19/new-mexico#cn

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) First Draw and Second Draw Loan applications in January 2021. Eligible small business may utilize the PPP loan to help keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis. The deadline to apply for a First Draw or Second Draw PPP Loan is March 31, 2021. For more information, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners and non-profit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDL is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. 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: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

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. For more information, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-express-bridge-loans

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: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-debt-relief

Additional Resources:

Farm Credit Administration
https://www.fca.gov/about/coronavirus-covid-19

Farmers Legal Action Group
http://www.flaginc.org/covid-19-guide/

New Mexico Economic Development Department
https://gonm.biz/about-us/covid-19-response

USDA – Farm Service Agency (New Mexico Office)
https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/New-Mexico/index

USDA – Natural Resource Conservation Service (New Mexico Office)
www.nm.nrcs.usda.gov

USDA – Rural Development Response
https://www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus

USDA – Risk Management Agency
https://www.rma.usda.gov/en/News-Room/Continuing-Interest/Coronavirus-Resources