Federal Government Assistance Programs
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources. Good resource page for a variety of available funding venues for agriculturalist in various sectors.
Paycheck Protection Program. 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 Loans. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. SBA’s EIDL portal will reopen and accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
NRCS’s Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) for Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. Closes 6/29/2020. Click the link to view the announcement for Program Funding for Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Equipment Grant Program (EGP) from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Closes 6/23/2020
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the $19 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to provide relief to farmers and ranchers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21st and run through December 11, 2020. Contact information for your Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Directors, who are your local FSA contacts is provided below:
* Kauai County Contact: Robert Ishikawa, Phone: (808) 245-9014 x 104, Fax: (855) 356-9495. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Oahu County Contact: Jason Shitanishi, Phone: (808) 861-8538 x 104, Fax: (855) 356-9490. Email: email@example.com
* Maui County Contact: James Robello, Phone: (808) 871-5500 x 105, Fax: (855) 356-9494. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Hawaiʻi County Contact: Lester Ueda, Phone: (808) 933-8341, Fax: (855) 356-9492. Email: email@example.com
Local Assistance Programs
Livestock Producer Assistance Program (LPAP). The Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) has launched the Livestock Producer Assistance Program (LPAP) to help Maui’s ranchers and livestock operations during this difficult time. Participants do not need to be a farm bureau member to qualify. Committee members: Kyle Caires (Chairperson, CTAHR-Univerisity of Hawaii), Brendan Balthazar (Diamond B Ranch), Shyloh Stafford-Jones (SJ Ag Operations).
Farmer’s Emergency Relief Fund (FEED). This program uses Maui County Farm Bureau's unrestricted funds to provide 10 grants of $2,000 each to farmers experiencing hardship to put toward their farms’ operating expenses. “This program will provide an instant cash infusion to help our member farmers weather this difficult time,” said MCFB Vice-President Kyle Caires, and grant program chair. “We must use our resources during this time toward saving our family farms.” This program is only for MCFB members in good standing as of March 1, 2020.
Farm Product Purchase Program (FPPP). The County of Maui and Maui County Farm Bureau have put together funds for this program to purchase produce from commercial farms in active agriculture production on Maui. The produce will then be distributed by the County of Maui to families in need due to losing their employment. “Farmers are making difficult decisions as they transition their operations to survival mode, cutting back on expenses, laying off workers, hoping the economy will return before they run out of cash. This program will provide them with some income as well as provide families much needed food,” said MCFB President Teena Rasmussen.
Maui Electric COVID-19 assistance program. This program is being administered by Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO).
Additional Resources of Interest.
Hurricane Preparedness for Livestock Producers. Hurricane season started June 1st and continues throughout the summer. Please find enclosed an extension publication from the University of Hawaii to help you develop an individual plan for success in the unfortunate event of a hurricane.
USDA COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Organic Producers. Lists available resources from USDA, including the link to Certification Cost Share.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
What do I do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19? A nice guide put together by the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) offers a collection of resources for meat producers and processors.
Changes in CDC Criteria for Return to Work. As of July 20, 2020, the CDC modified the criteria in its guidance for Discontinuation of Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings. The CDC now recommends that individuals with COVID19 remain in home isolation until: *At least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms; *At least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication; and *Other symptoms have improved. Some employers, out of an abundance of caution, are also requiring all employees with COVID-19 to provide a doctor’s note certifying that they are fit to return to work.
Employee Travel Letter Template (Word Document). This document is a template produced by the AAMP. Please modify the letter to fit your needs; update the form with your company information/logo (see highlighted yellow areas in document). Give to employees to use in areas where there are curfews or travel restrictions. The employee should have this with them and present it to authorities, if stopped.
President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America (Print and bring along with your customized version of the travel letter above).
OSHA: Coronavirus overview with Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus. A more detailed description of OSHA standards and directives is provided here.
IRS: Coronavirus Tax Relief. IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by COVID-19
Coronavirus Stimulus Package - description on the Hawaii Cattlemen's Association website. What Does it Mean for You? Please follow this link for a nice document put together by Nicole Galase. The page does a nice job describing several key provisions in the coronavirus stimulus package.
Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. To ensure that the state continues to provide essential, core services, there are exemptions in the following categories: Healthcare services, food production and farming, livestock, hunting, gathering, fishing, baking, and other agriculture, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supplies, manufacture, and distribution of products for agriculture, grocery stores and pharmacies, public and private schools, restaurants offering take-out services, hotels and motels, construction, and essential government functions. Agriculture has been identified as an “ESSENTIAL BUSINESS” and is exempt from this order.
Governor Ige issues statewide order to stay at home, work from home to fight COVID-19. Governor David Ige signed a Third Supplementary Proclamation, ordering the entire state to stay at home and work from home starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25 through April 30. The order limits activities outside the home to those deemed essential for daily living and to keep vital services in operation.
Mayor Victorino issues Stay and Home/Work from Home Order. Mayor Victorino’s Order, effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, 2020, orders all Maui County residents to stay at home until April 30, 2020. The stay at Home and work at home order exempts “Essential Activities,” “Essential Businesses,” and “Government Operations.” Maui county’s order will allow agricultural operations to continue. It lists “agricultural operations” as an ESSENTIAL BUSINESS.
General Advice for Farms and Ranchers.
Market disruptions and many factors have affected livestock production during COVID-19 pandemic. In Hawaii, the inter-island shipping of livestock has been interrupted, there is a lack of rainfall and in some cases animal feed. Adding to those hardships, direct medical conditions and mandatory quarantine guidelines may lead to unforeseen labor shortages. Consider adopting the following proactive measures to keep your animals healthy and to ensure that essential activities are completed during the pandemic. Being organized early will help protect your animals and business viability, especially if farm labor becomes an issue.
1) Prioritize your daily activities. Which tasks are critical to animal health and survival of the farm? Could some daily activities be postponed? Develop a checklist of items with priorities ranked for your farm or ranch. Identify individual animals or groups of livestock that might need additional care.
2) Restrict visitors to your farming and/or ranching operations. Follow local and state guidelines for admission of essential workers and visitors to minimize the risks of inadvertently infecting workers or your family. Promote procedures that help ensure a safe work environment.
3) Record standard operating procedures for all of the routine procedures, safety practices, and sources of consumables (medicines, vaccines, etc.) to ensure the maintenance of animal welfare.
4) Identify individuals that you can count on to help in an emergency situation and establish alternate forms of communication to convey critical work that needs doing; group texts using smartphones can really help with that. Develop an SOP for timely responses to unforeseen emergencies (i.e., animals out on road, broken fences, equipment failures).
An extension bulletin from the University of Maine is worth taking a look at for expanding on farm preparations.
Tell us what you are experiencing during the Hawaii Livestock Producer Pau Hana Session.
Livestock Producer "Pau Hana" Program. Please register to join us for an informal virtual pau hana to talk story about the impacts of COVID19 on your livestock operation(s).September 22, 2020 @ 5 pm is next session. The sessions have run every two weeks from May - August 2020. The goal of the Livestock Producers Pau Hana is to foster communication, increasing collaboration, and strengthening the Hawaii Livestock Industry during and as we emerge from this crisis. The Pau Hana is a joint effort hosted by the University of Hawaii CTAHR/Livestock Extension Group and the Hawaii Cattlemen's Council. If you have questions, contact: Mark Thorne, Range and Livestock Extension Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org, 808-887-6183 or Nicole Galase, HCC Managing Director at email@example.com, 808-209-0820.