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COVID-19 resources for farmers and small ag business owners

By Megan Roberts, Extension educator

Extension’s Ag Business Management team writes timely updates regarding risk management topics, including COVID-19 economic programs, on their blog. You can sign up for email alerts at

You’ve likely seen that both the Minnesota state legislature and the federal government recently passed bills in response to the COVID-19 situation. But what do they mean financially for farmers and other agricultural small business owners? This article offers a short summary of some of the recent legislation.

Families FIRST

The Families FIRST act requires all employers to offer paid sick time for eligible absences related to COVID-19. Farmers are not exempt from this requirement.


The CARES act created the Payroll Protection Program, which can cover up to 8 weeks of payroll and certain other eligible expenses. An additional law in late April included more PPP forgivable loan funding and made agricultural enterprises eligible for another Small Business Administration program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs and EIDL advances).

The CARES act also created partial funding for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Additional funding comes for the Commodity Credit Corp (CCC) and together the program will fund $16 billion dollars of direct aid to farmers. Details of the program were released on in late May and sign up has started through Farm Service Agency (FSA) as of May 26.

For more information

Details on programs are available at A brief summary of programs is available at

Talk with an expert

To talk to an Extension expert on these programs, the Ag Business Management team has partnered with Extension’s Farm Information Line. Call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, through June 30. Afterhours: Leave a voicemail and we will return your call the next business day. Anytime: Email us at

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