The second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is more accessible for small, diversified producers, but farm workers are still waiting for federal support.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Manly, National Young Farmers Coalition
firstname.lastname@example.org , 518-643-3564 ext. 722
Washington, D.C. (September 23, 2020) – The National Young Farmers Coalition commends USDA for its efforts to expand aid to more farmers with alternative business models through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP2). Farmers continue to incur additional costs and disruptions to their regular operations, and we are hopeful that these payments will provide much needed assistance to young farmers and farmers of color and help them continue their businesses through the pandemic.
The revenue-based approach appears to allow for levels of payment that reflect price premiums for local and regional sales and to make the program accessible for diversified producers who previously were unable to make calculations on a commodity-by-commodity basis. The Coalition urges USDA to prioritize serving producers who had been previously unable to benefit from the program and who have been struggling to access federal relief.
“While we would have liked to see a specific set-aside for beginning farmers and farmers of color, we are optimistic that the revenue-based model will be beneficial for the many farmers in our network who are still struggling to deal with the effects of Covid-19 and were not served by the previous iteration of CFAP,” said Sanaz Arjomand, Federal Policy Director. “We look forward to continuing to work with USDA to ensure that young farmers and farmers of color are indeed being served by the new program.”
The National Young Farmers Coalition has advocated to Congress and USDA since COVID-19 hit that young farmers and farmers of color need direct aid that is reflective of their unique businesses. We are grateful for our young farmers across the country who shared their experiences with their Members of Congress and USDA to ensure COVID-19 relief was equitably accessible.
We also recognize that these changes at USDA are only a part of what is needed to provide equitable relief from the pandemic throughout our food system. We urge Congress and the Administration to provide support and stronger protections to the farm worker community as they continue to risk their lives in the essential work that we all depend upon.