COVID-19 Information for Agriculture and Food Businesses

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DACF has worked to ensure that functions critical to the agency and industry needs are met and carried out in the interest of public safety and public health. To keep our agricultural producers, businesses, and service providers as up-to-date as possible on health and safety issues with the ongoing COVID-19 situation, DACF will maintain the most recent information and guidance from the Maine Centers for Disease Control and our federal and state partners. We are in contact with producers and agricultural organizations across Maine to try and find effective ways to minimize the negative impact on growers and address your concerns and issues. Please continue to reach out, and we will do our best to respond and share as much information as we can during this time.

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Essential Public Health Information

COVID-19 Operational Guidance

The resources below provide information to farmers and food producers about how to safely provide their services on-farm and in some public-facing situations.

NOTE: As of May 24, 2021, the State of Maine’s requirement that face coverings be worn in all public settings was lifted. Maine CDC recommends that unvaccinated individuals continue to wear face coverings in indoor public settings. Businesses may impose mask requirements and social distancing rules if they choose to do so. In all school and childcare settings, face coverings are required indoors for all people five years and older. 

Financial Resources

  • Federal Programs
    • The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP): A second round of CFAP funding has been announced by USDA. CFAP 2 will provide up to $14 billion for agricultural producers facing market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. The payments cover three categories: price trigger commodities, flat rate crops, and sales commodities. The original application period for CFAP was September 21 through December 11, 2020.
      • USDA reopened CFAP 2 signup for all eligible producers beginning April 5,2021. A deadline for signup will be announced at a later date.
      • For more information and to apply, visit USDA’s CFAP website.
    • The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has several loan and servicing programs aimed at farmers and producers. Please reach out directly to FSA's Maine office to learn more.
    • US Small Business Administration (SBA)
      • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application has been extended to May 31, 2021 and is offering loans aimed at helping businesses keep their workforces employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, sole proprietors, self-employed individuals or independent contractors.
      • The Small Business Administration (SBA) oversees PPP and offers two types of loans:
        • First time PPP loans for businesses who qualified under CARES act but did not get a loan ("first draw" PPP loans);
        • Second draw PPP loans for businesses that obtained a PPP loan but need additional funding; and
        • Additional funding for businesses that returned their first PPP loan or for certain businesses that did not get the full amount for which they qualified. Companies must employ 300 or fewer people and have had a 25% reduction in gross receipts.
        • Learn more at SBA.
      • The SBA is still accepting applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which apply to farm businesses.
    • SCORE Maine is a resource partner of the SBA and provides business mentorship to small businesses.
    • USDA Rural Development
      • USDA RD’s Business and Industry (B&I) Cares Act Loan Program is available for agricultural producers. $450,000,000 is dedicated to ag businesses. The loan program is for working capital (e.g. supplies, P&I, payroll, rent, feed, seed, fertilizer, marketing, shipping, livestock (excluding breeding), etc.), and loan terms can be up to ten (10) years with deferral of principal payments for up to three years.
      • More information on the scope of the B&I Cares Act Loan Program and how to apply (PDF).
    • IRS Guidance on paid leave tax credits for small/med businesses

Resources for Planning & Responding to COVID-19 for Farm and Forestry Producers

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Food Safety

Horticulture

Livestock

Farm Labor

Information for Veterinarians, Shelters, Kennels & Pet Owners

Find Local Food and Food Assistance

Other Resources

Governor’s Office

Maine Department of Economic Development

Notice of Temporary Building Closure

  • DACF’s Deering Building, which houses the Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, and Harlow Building, which houses the Maine Forest Service, are temporarily closed to the public. Should you require assistance, please call (207) 287-3200. Thank you.