The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) remind farmers and ranchers to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) by Dec. 11. This program provides direct relief to producers facing market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.
“With over 300 eligible commodities, from livestock and row crops to specialty crops and aquaculture, most farmers and ranchers are potentially eligible for CFAP 2,” said Richard Fordyce, Farm Service Agency administrator. “FSA offers several options for farmers and ranchers to apply. Don’t wait to check out our online resources and connect with our employees who are ready to answer your questions and help you get started on your application.”
Producers have several options for applying for the CFAP 2 program. Producers can find eligible commodities, payment rates, calculations and options to apply on farmers.gov/cfap.
Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office. The call center can also provide service to non-English speaking customers. Customers will select 1 for English and 2 to speak with a Spanish speaking employee. For other languages, customers select 1 and indicate their language to the call center staff.
Additionally, farmers.gov offers a number of resources for producers interested in applying for CFAP 2, including: Eligible Commodities Finder; videos including How to Apply for CFAP 2; and blogs including Myth Debunked: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.
A correction to the CFAP 2 rule is pending. In case a producer is affected by this correction, FSA will provide additional time to apply or edit their application.
CFAP 2 is a separate program from the first iteration of CFAP, now referred to as CFAP 1. Participating in CFAP 1 is not a prerequisite for participating in CFAP 2. Additionally, producers who applied for CFAP 1 will not be automatically enrolled in CFAP 2 and must complete a new application to be eligible for assistance.
Both CFAP 1 and CFAP 2 are self-certification programs, which means the applicant certifies the information submitted is correct. As part of the internal controls portion of CFAP 1, FSA is conducting spot checks of applications, asking producers to provide supporting documentation to verify the information on them. Producers are being selected using a statistically sound methodology. These CFAP 1 applicants will be contacted by FSA staff and asked to provide supporting documentation to verify the information certified by the producer on their CFAP 1 application.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will prescreen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment.
The program delivery staff will continue to work with our producers by phone, email and using online tools.
More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Submitted by Sarah Fullenkamp, county executive director, Highland County Farm Service Agency.