Key Highlights of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program:
On April 17th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced significant new programs to support producers of meat, dairy and produce as well as a food assistance program for local food banks. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will use the funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and other USDA existing authorities. The program includes two major elements to achieve these goals. See our summary of the CFAP program at USDA Announces $19 Billion Producer and Food Assistance Program.
A. The Webinar:
While applications for the $16 billion CFAP are not open yet, agricultural producers can start preparing now. In aiding that effort, the USDA released a webinar that provides basic information on how producers can prepare for the upcoming signup for the CFAP. To view the webinar, click this link.
B. Preparing for Sign-up:
The USDA will soon be taking applications for CFAP. Unfortunately, that date has yet to be released. However, ag producers can start gathering their recent sales inventory. Note that local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program and help you to fill out the applicable forms. Along with recent sales inventory, the forms will ask for: contact information, personal information including Tax Identification Number, farm operating structure, adjusted gross income and direct deposit information.
C. How to Apply once Signup Begins:
When the application period opens, a producer will contact their FSA county office to schedule an appointment. Keep in mind, FSA offices continue to operate by phone appointment only as of the date of this FS Update. They will also work with customers through email, fax, mail and online tools when it comes time to submit applications. FSA office information can be found at www.farmers.gov/cfap.
The following forms are required for CFAP:
- CCC-901: Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member information will be completed by legal entities and join operations to collect member names, addresses, Tax Identification Numbers and citizenship status.
- CCC-941: Reports average adjusted gross income for programs where restrictions apply.
- CCC-942: If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching, and forestry for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation.
- AD-1026: Ensures compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation.
- AD-2047: Provides basic customer contact information.
- SF-3881: Collects banking information to allow USDA to make payments via direct deposit.
Due to streamlining, FSA is not requiring an acreage report or, in some cases, a USDA farm number at the time of signup.
Fortunately, existing producers will have much of the necessary documentation on file with FSA, but first-time producers are encouraged to contact their county FSA office and start the process immediately.
For more information regarding the program, the application process and a list of frequently asked questions, visit CFAP Frequently Asked Questions.
A printable version of this information can be found by clicking HERE.
Authors: Mark Brasee
This article has been prepared for general information purposes and (1) does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. Always seek professional counsel prior to taking action.