COVID-19 News and Resources

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The national COVID-19 emergency has had deep impacts on our farming community. Please watch this page for information and resources that can help farmers, farmers markets, food and farm workers, and consumers navigate this unprecedented challenge.

OEFFA Operations and Certification Services

OEFFA remains open for business. When you call into the main number, (614) 262-2022 choose option 1 for the Organic Certification Program; option 2 if you are in Ohio and are calling about cost share; and option 3 to reach the OEFFA Education Program. If you are calling an individual staff member, you can find their direct line in our staff directory here.

Pandemic Assistance for Producers

The USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers is a new initiative meant to reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. The USDA has reopened sign-up for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021.

Carrying out formula payments under CFAP 1, CFAP 2, CFAP AA, FSA must make certain payments to producers including: (1) an increase in CFAP 1 payment rates for cattle, (2) additional CFAP assistance of $20 per acre for producers of eligible crops identified as CFAP 2 flat-rate or price-trigger crops, and (3) finalize routine decisions and minor formula adjustments on applications and begin processing payments for certain applications filed as part of the CFAP Additional Assistance. In some cases, USDA will take action on applications already submitted, or may require applicants to submit additional information.

You can find more information, apply online, or download printable applications at the USDA’s CFAP website. If you have questions or need assistance applying, please contact your local USDA Service Center.

Paycheck Protection Program Deadline Extended to May 31

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans until May 31, 2021. We recommend contacting your regular lender as soon as possible if you are interested. Farmers’ Legal Action Group’s (FLAG) COVID-19 Guide has helpful information on the updates.

Vaccine Availability

All Ohioans age 16 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Click here to find appointment information on the more than 1,300 local providers offering the vaccine statewide or visit the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program page.

Responsible RestartOhio

  • Go to the Department of Health’s Responsible RestartOhio page for the latest on the state’s gradual re-opening.
  • The Ohio Department of Health keeps an updated archive of all their COVID-19 related public health orders here.

Marketing and Farmers’ Market Resources

Community Supported Agriculture Resources

  • Good Earth Guide—Find OEFFA member farms, CSAs, and food businesses in your area, or list your operation for free.
  • Local Harvest—Find local farms and CSAs, or list your business.
  • National CSA DirectoryModern Farmer is creating a national list of CSAs which farmers can be listed in and customers can search.
  • CSA Innovation Network—This network offers resources for CSA farmers, including COVID-19 adaptations.
  • Local Food Anywhere—Forager built an online interactive map to help people find farms in their area. Follow the link to add your farm.

Farm Labor Resources

Legal Resources

Online Sales Resources

Financial Resources

  • FSA Debt Payments—The American Rescue Plan includes provisions for the USDA to pay up to 120 percent of loan balances, as of January 1, 2021, for Farm Service Agency (FSA) Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loans and Farm Storage Facility Loans debt relief to any socially disadvantaged producer who has a qualifying loan with FSA.
  • Kiva—Kiva is a nonprofit micro-lending service that helps farmers crowdfund projects and receive loans up to $15,000 at no interest. As a Kiva Trustee, OEFFA can endorse your loan request and help guide you through the process.
  • Resilience Fund—Rural Action and several partners in Ohio and West Virginia have started a fund to offer rapid-response grants to businesses and nonprofits facing serious economic challenges in Appalachian Ohio and the Mid-Ohio Valley counties of West Virginia.
  • What are Payroll Costs?—This blog helps clarify what you do, and do not need to calculate as payroll costs when applying for PPP.
  • StarkFresh Crowd-Funded Relief Loan—StarkFresh has partnered with Honeycomb Credit to provide $10,000-$25,000 working capital loans to farmers.

Policy Resources

  • Opportunity in a Time of Crisis Report—On June 30, OEFFA, the Ohio Farmers’ Market Network, the Ohio Food Policy Network, and Produce Perks Midwest released an 18-page report identifying missing links and opportunities in our local and regional food system that were exposed by COVID-19, along with eight policy recommendations Ohio’s decision-makers can implement to invest in the long-term capacity of Ohio’s farmers and farmers markets and build food security for vulnerable families.
  • Joint State Policy Recommendations—On April 2, OEFFA, the Ohio Farmers’ Market Network, the Ohio Food Policy Network, and Produce Perks Midwest called on state leaders to adopt six policies that help farmers, farmers’ markets, and low income food access.
  • State Policy Recommendations—OEFFA submitted these policy recommendations to the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Governor on March 23, 2020.
  • Farm Policy Matters Blog—Watch OEFFA’s policy blog for updates on state and federal policy affecting farmers, farmers’ markets, and aid for impacted businesses.
  • Farm Policy Matters Resources for Action—Find recent action alerts and resources for taking action on the issues you care about.
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition—OEFFA’s national partner offers regular COVID-19 updates, federal policy analysis, and action opportunities.
  • House Ag Committee COVID-19 Resources—Helpful Resources for Food and Agriculture from the house ag committee and various federal agencies.

Health Resources

USDA Resources

OSU Resources

  • COVID-19 Hub—OSU has launched a comprehensive hub for all of their resources on their Knowledge Exchange.
  • OSU Farm Office—OSU’s Farm Office team has a number of COVID-19 resources related to legal considerations and government support programs.
  • OSU Extension COVID-19 Factsheets—OSU’s Produce Safety Team has compiled factsheets on produce safety, community health, and best practices for markets, restaurants, and foodbanks.
  • OSU Ag Madness—Look for archived webinars on a variety of agriculture-related topics.

Other Resources

Contact Us

We’re here to help. Call (614) 421-2022, email, or contact one of our staff members if we can be of assistance.

Donate or Become a Member

If you find value in these resources and OEFFA’s work, and you’re able to afford it, please consider making a donation or becoming a member, so we can continue to help others.