American Farmland Trust has announced a fund to help farmers affected by the coronavirus crisis. Announced on Tuesday, National Ag Day, the Farmer Relief Fund program will award eligible farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
The initial focus will be on farms that sell at farmers markets or to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products. That focus could change over time as the negative impacts of the crisis become more widespread within U.S. agriculture.
A new report estimates that local and regional food systems could lose up to $1.3 billion between just March and May of this year. While all farmers and ranchers will likely be seriously impacted by the market disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the organization says, “Some farmers are losing their primary markets because people can’t eat in restaurants or shop at farmers markets.”
The Farmer Relief Fund program details can be found at www.farmland.org/relief.