Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Resources for Farmers

Resources for Farmers

MOFGA's Primary COVID-19 Resource Document for Farmers

The MOFGA Farmer Programs staff has compiled this clearinghouse of almost every topic and issue related to farming during the COVID-19 crisis, with links and information and resources about insurance, employees, farmers' markets, online marketing, loans and grants, etc. We update it several times daily – newest updates are highlighted in yellow. Resources that may be of particular interest to farmworkers are highlighted in green.


Maine Local Market Reports

Market reports compiled by MOFGA and Maine Farmland Trust for the purpose of supporting farmer and buyer communication and creating clarity in a rapidly changing market.


 

Farmer Programs Newsletter for July 10, 2020

Hi folks, Welcome to summer, in full swing! Our MOFGA Farmer Programs newsletter will be issued less frequently from now through the growing season, most likely as a monthly publication or as need arises. If you would like to revisit past newsletters, the back issues are archived on the MOFGA website here. Please send inquiries, suggestions, corrections or advice regarding this newsletter to [email protected].


 

Hey, Certified Organic Farmers – We Need Your Prices!

  • Organic Price Report Forms. MOFGA has created a new system for farmers to report their organic retail or wholesale prices for three seasonal price reports this year. These are simple Google Forms, which should allow you to open and use them readily on any device and can be closed and reopened any time, at your convenience. We will compile and share the data three times during the growing season of 2020: in mid-July, late August and mid-October. Submit your pricing information at any time. There are separate forms for Vegetables, Fruit, Dairy, Meat and Eggs, Herbs, Flowers and Decorative Squash, each with dropdown menus of product/unit combinations to click and report. Send any questions, suggestions, comments, etc. to Nicolas Lindholm: [email protected].

MOFGA's Primary COVID-19 Resource Document for Farmers

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xcWWU7YZcWkEc8mahncJdY3NiERTfZ6SN7IaTjKT1m0/edit

The MOFGA Farmer Programs staff has compiled this clearinghouse of almost every topic and issue related to farming during the COVID-19 crisis, with links and information and resources about insurance, employees, farmers' markets, online marketing, loans and grants, etc. We update it regularly – newest updates are highlighted in yellow. Resources that may be of particular interest to farmworkers are highlighted in green.

 

Resources

 

  • COVID-19 Testing Available for Farm Workers and Seasonal Farm Managers. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services put out this standing order on June 8, allowing all seasonal and migrant agricultural workers in Maine to be tested for COVID-19 whether they are showing symptoms or not. At this time, the Maine Mobile Health Program is helping farmers schedule and access free testing for farm work crews, including possible on-site visits from mobile test units.

  • Determining Your FFCRA Eligibility. This online worksheet helps farmworkers determine whether they are eligible for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This new online tool developed by the U.S. Department of Labor can help employees and employers determine who is qualified for the FFCRA protections and benefits.

  • Online Option for CFAP Application. In late June the USDA released an online portal for farmers and ranchers to apply to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).  This program, still open to applications, can provide funds to help offset price declines and additional marketing costs your farm may have experienced because of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union will reimburse closing costs up to $3,500 for farmland purchase or refinancing to participants in its Conservation Grant Program.

  • Small Bites. Two new posts are available: "Leadership" and "Why Saying 'Thank You' Matters." These short, informational articles offer practical ideas about stress reduction, improved communication and family well-being written by coaches from UMaine Cooperative Extension's farm coaching team. Farm coaches are available at no cost to work remotely with farmers and farm families.

 

Get on the Map!

 

 

Upcoming Webinars

 

  • Climate Adaptation Fellowship program informational webinar. Tuesday, July 14, noon. Learn about the Northeast Climate Adaptation Fellowship program for vegetable and fruit growers. The program provides a peer-to-peer curriculum for farmers and advisors. Its framework is designed to integrate climate science with a land manager's knowledge. Participants in the vegetable and fruit program will enhance their knowledge of climate impacts on vegetable and fruit farms in the Northeast. Accepted fellows will complete the program in pairs (farmers and advisors) to develop personalized farm adaptation plans and outreach materials to share with peers.

 

Upcoming Bond Issue

 

  • Question 1 on the July 14 statewide ballot gives voters a chance to support a $15 million bond to invest in high-speed internet infrastructure that will be matched by $30 million in private, federal and local support. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of high-speed internet for Maine farm businesses, as many Maine farmers need to increase their online business activities and/or pivot to using more online platforms to sell their products This need for high-speed internet service in Maine will only increase in the future, not only to support farm businesses, but also to provide farm families with access to important educational and communication resources. Farmers can help bring high-speed internet to rural Maine by:

    • Voting YES on 1 on the July 14 ballot

    • Spreading the word about Yes on 1 to other farmers and farm-related businesses

    • Endorsing the Yes on 1 campaign HERE

    • Making a short video on your phone for the Yes on 1 campaign to spread the word on social media about the importance of high-speed internet to you

For more information about the Yes on 1 campaign, go to https://www.betterinternetformaine.org.

 

Food for Thought (and Discussion and Action!)

 

 

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