COVID-19 Resources for Farms and Food Businesses

Posted on April 27, 2020 // view all News // Resources During COVID-19

COVID-19 Guidance for Farms and Food Businesses

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) COVID-19 Resources for Agriculture
State bulletins and guidance for agriculture, and resources covering: food safety, farmers’ markets, marketing and distribution, animal health, farm labor, financial resources, and mental health resources. Including the following documents:

Farm Labor Management
MDAR Guidance Bulletin for Pick Your Own Activities
Order of the Commissioner of Public Health for Farmers Markets, Farmstands and CSAs
Guidance for Farmers Markets, Farm Stands and CSAs
Cleaning and Sanitizing Guidance for Fruits and Vegetables Growers
Matching CSAs and Farmstands with Value Added Food Businesses list of Vendors selling protective and hygienic supplies

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Novel Coronoavirus (COVID-19) Information and Guidance

CISA’s COVID-19 Resources for Farmers
A comprehensive list of resources for farms, food businesses, and farmers markets covering topics including: COVID testing for farm workers, sanitation, employee management, economic assistance, and online sales.

UMass COVID 19 Resources and Information for MA Vegetable Growers

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development Guidance for Prevention & Control on Farms
Includes Employer Actions Steps as well as links to printable factsheets and posters in English and Spanish to use in your workplace.

Building Farm Resilience During COVID-19 from Cornell Small Farms Program
Conversation and idea sharing about building market resilience in this moment as well as links to resources for New York farmers including New York Extension Disaster Education Network and New York FarmNet offering financial and mental health resources.

Cape Cod Cooperative Extension COVID-19 Resources
Resources for farmers & growers, farmers with livestock, farmers markets, and delivery & pick up distribution information including online payment systems.

Economic Resources

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures
BAV is pleased to have received a generous grant from a local family foundation to launch the Resilience Fund for Farmers.  Zero interest, forgivable loans and grants will be provided to farmers to help them adapt to the new realities of COVID-19, overcome significant income challenges, ensure their farms are viable and sustainable, and that they can continue to meet demand among consumers for healthy local foods. In addition, Berkshire Agricultural Ventures regularly provides flexible and urgent loans, grants and 1:1 capacity-building assistance to farmers. Applications are considered on an ongoing basis. For information regarding how to apply for this support, please contact Cynthia Pansing at

CISA’s Emergency Farm Fund
Available to those operating Franklin, Hampshire, or Hampden counties in Massachusetts, CISA Emergency Farm Fund offers zero-interest loans to farms affected by COVID-19. As of May 27 the Fund is not currently accepting applications, but is expected to be opened for a second round of applications.

Western Mass Business Resources
A range of business resources compiled by the Western Mass Business Technical Assistance Collaboration covering Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties.

American Farm Land Trust (AFT) Farmer Relief Fund
AFT’s Famer Relief Fund that will provide $1,000 grants to farmers suffering from market disruptions caused by the pandemic. The fund is targeted at small and mid-sized producers who market direct to consumer (annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs).  No longer accepting applications.

Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved Massachusetts request for a disaster declaration and will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Massachusetts; and the contiguous counties in neighboring states.

General COVID-19 Resources and Information

1Berkshire Information & Resources for COVID-19 in the Berkshires

Mass Department of Public Health COVID-19 Information

New York State Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information


USDA’s COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide

Resources and reading for pivoting sales strategies online

List of direct sales software from National Young Farmers Coalition

Selling Real Farm Products in a Virtual Marketplace from Cornell Small Farms

The Local Food Revolution Goes Online – For Now 

Facing devastating losses, small farmers pivot to sell directly to consumers 

Roots Rising Virtual Farmer’s Market

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