USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will provide $16 billion in direct economic relief payments to farmers and ranchers suffering the market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with $5.1 billion of that relief earmarked for beef producers. While final details of the program are not yet available and applications are not expected to be accepted until after Memorial Day, the below information will allow you to prepare your application information in advance so you can quickly file your CFAP application once the program opens.
Given the program’s funding limitations, CCA encourages all members to prepare their application information as soon as possible and to contact their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office without delay once the program opens.
When the CFAP program opens, farmers and ranchers will need to submit applications through their county FSA office. CCA expects that FSA employees will be trained on the CFAP program on May 21-22 and anticipates that CFAP will open for applications after Memorial Day (May 25).
Preparing Your Information
Before FSA offices begin processing applications, ranchers can get a head-start on preparing their application materials.
According to USDA, applicants will need to be prepared with the following information:
- Contact information
- Personal information, including your Tax Identification Number
- Operating structure of your ranch or farm
- Adjusted Gross Income (to ensure eligibility, form available here)
- Direct deposit information (to enable payment processing)
The above information will be reported on various USDA forms available on the CFAP website at www.farmers.gov/CFAP (under the “How to Apply Once Signup Begins” heading). While FSA will assist ranchers in filing the forms and may already have this information on file for existing customers, CCA encourages ranchers to familiarize themselves with the forms, to assemble the relevant information and to pre-fill the forms to ensure accurate and efficient processing once the program opens.
Additional information is available at www.farmers.gov/CFAP. USDA has also posted a video of yesterday’s 15-minute CFAP webinar on its YouTube page.
Contacting Your County FSA Office
You can find contact information for your county FSA office here (click on the Northern or Southern region and then click on your county to find your county office’s contact information). As FSA offices are open for business by phone appointment only, you should call your county office to schedule an appointment shortly after the application period opens.