COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR FARMERS AND CONSUMERS

COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR FARMERS

The efforts of our farmers and farmers’ markets to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and continue to provide the public with locally-grown food have been amazing. Our goal is to connect as many consumers as possible directly to farmers and agricultural produces in the Southeastern MA region.


As of 6/15/2021, all remaining COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and the state of emergency has ended in Massachusetts. Mask requirements remain in place in certain environments, including private businesses that require it.

ON-FARM SAFETY

Vaccinations – Everyone age 12+ who lives, works, or studies in Massachusetts is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You do not need health insurance or an ID to receive the vaccine. A mobile vaccination program is available to employers; sign up here to bring a mobile vaccine clinic to your farmworkers. Find more information or an individual vaccination appointment here.

Labor Management CDC guidance for agricultural employers has been updated as of 2/2/21. They suggest exposure minimization, sanitizing practices, modifications for shared housing, adapted sick/leave policies, contingency plans, and more. OSHA also provides COVID-19 guidance for employers generally.

Pick-Your-Own and Other Agritourism Activities – Guidance for PYO and other agritourism activities was released as on 7/24/20, and includes suggestions for capacity, social distancing, sanitization, on-farm transport, and more. None of these guidelines are obligatory as of 5/29/21.

WHERE TO SELL

Farmers Markets – The CDC provides guidance for farmers market managers and stalls as of 9/17/20, including the set-up of handwashing stations, pick-up options and layout modifications, appropriate signage, sanitization, and more. A list of currently operating markets is housed here.

Collaborative Marketing Software Platforms – If you are a farmer looking to combine forces with other growers in your local network to organize group ordering, CSA, or food hub coordination to serve your local/regional community and consumers, you may want to review the following food aggregation and delivery software:

WhatsGood
Market 2Day
Farmigo
Local Food Marketplace
Barn2door 
Harvie 
GrazeCart

FINANCIAL CONCERNS

Payroll Protection Program (PPP) – This grant program under the CARES Act helps employers support their payroll despite profit loss. Applications are closed for this loan program, but if you have already received a PPP loan, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) – Agricultural businesses with fewer than 500 employees may be eligible for this loan program if they are unable to meet operating costs.

Tax credits and deferrals – Small businesses (including many small farms) may be eligible for tax credits and/or deferrals based on decreased sales, temporary or permanent shut-down, or other circumstances created by COVID-19.

Crop insurance, farm credit, and market manipulation – The USDA regularly updates a list of farmer resources and FAQs related to these financial areas.

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