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Monday, March 29, 2021 - 10:00am
USDA Announces ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to Distribute Resources More Equitably After Identifying Gaps in Previous Aid

USDA recently announced Pandemic Assistance for Producers to distribute resources more equitably after identifying gaps in previous aid. At least $6 billion is being dedicated toward the new programs. This includes the reopening of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) sign-up for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021. 

In the announcement, USDA also shared that they will develop rules for new programs to put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. 

According to USDA, they expect to invest approximately $500 million in expedited assistance through several existing programs and services by April 30. Learn more.

Update on Paycheck Protection Program Funding for Small Farms from Pace’s Food and Beverage Law Clinic

Pace’s Food and Beverage Law Clinic recently updated their COVID-19 Relief FAQ to highlight some of the most important recent changes that impact small and mid-sized farms and other businesses. The current deadline for PPP funding is March 31, 2021, and farms are encouraged to take advantage of the new round of funding and apply as soon as possible.

Pace’s Food and Beverage Law Clinic shared the following:

More Funding is Available: There is more funding available under the Paycheck Protection Program, both for first-time applicants and those who have received funding in previous PPP cycles. If you are eligible and have not applied for a PPP loan before, you can access a First Draw PPP Loan. If you meet eligibility requirements and have received PPP funding in previous cycles, you can still access funding through the Second Draw PPP Loan.”

Loan Calculations Have Changed for Some Eligible Businesses: There have been major changes to loan calculations for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed Schedule F Farmers. Now, loans for these groups is based on gross income rather than payroll. This change means that small farms with few employees can now access far more funding than under previous guidance.​”

More details on PPP for farmers can also be found in a recent COVID-19 update shared by the Cornell Small Farms Program.

The post COVID-19 Update on Availability and Expansion of Aid for Farmers appeared first on Cornell Small Farms.

Monday, March 29, 2021 - 12:00am
Garden enthusiasts, local officials and community volunteers are invited to attend Purdue Extension’s Grass to Garden signature program this spring. Realizing that every garden project is unique, the Grass to Garden program guides participants through the stages of developing a community garden.
Friday, March 26, 2021 - 2:00pm
The creation of genes with new functions is a major driver of developmental innovation in all living organisms. How these genes acquire new functions over evolutionary time scales, however, is unclear.
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 12:00pm

March 25, 2021:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Thompson, and members of this Committee.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 3:00pm

WASHINGTON, Mar. 24, 2021 — In January 2021, President Biden released the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. The plan is driven by science, data, and public health to improve the effectiveness of our nation’s fight against COVID-19 and to restore trust, accountability and a sense of common purpose in our response to the pandemic.

The National Strategy provides a roadmap to guide America out of the worst public health crisis in a century. It is organized around seven goals:

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 2:00pm

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2021 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 10:13am

Who are the students pursuing careers in ag? We spoke to college students from minority-serving institutions who recently met (virtually) with USDA officials and partner organizations through the Future Leaders in Agriculture Program. They shared their insights on the event, their studies, and their future careers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 10:00am

In the latest episode of “Extension Out Loud,” a podcast by Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Cornell Small Farms Program’s director, Anu Rangarajan, shared her approach to extension work and her vision for the future of New York farm and food systems.

This episode was the third of the podcast’s latest series, “Leading Through Extension,” which features CCE leaders discussing their work in extension work and what they see for the organization’s path forward, especially after this past tumultuous year.

Building networks and cultivating relationships among farmers across New York State is a key aspect of our program’s work, and Rangarajan shared during the podcast that staying connected was more difficult yet more important than ever during the past year.

“We’re trying to … create reflective spaces for farmers to really redefine for themselves what joyful farming looks like and what happiness means,” Rangarajan said.

Looking toward the future, Rangarajan reflected on our program’s vision of a more diverse agriculture community in New York State.

Read more about the “Extension Out Loud” episode, including various listening options, transcript and show notes, on CALS News.

The post In the News: Our Director Featured in “Extension Out Loud” Podcast appeared first on Cornell Small Farms.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 9:00am

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2021 — Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding the D.C. Circuit Court's decision to allow USDA to withdraw its appeal on the previously vacated final rule, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (84 FR 66782).

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 11:00am

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2021 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson today announced that USDA is investing $266 million to build and improve critical community facilities (PDF, 162 KB) to benefit nearly 3 million rural residents in 16 states and Puerto Rico.

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