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

Physical Distancing Guidance for Producers

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.

Four Executive Orders have been issued that relate to the wearing of face-coverings in publicly accessible businesses.

Together, these orders require face-coverings to be worn by the public state-wide in publicly accessible places where physical distancing is not possible, with some limited exceptions. If you wish to report a potential situation of non-compliance, you may report those details using this form. The information will be reviewed by appropriate agency or agencies and responded to as needed.

Financial Resources

  • Federal Programs
  • State Programs
    • Economic Recovery Grant Program (ERGP) – Phase 2 Funding expanded. A second phase of the ERGP will be available starting September 23, 2020. Phase 2 will make available approximately $95 million in remaining funds from Phase 1 and expand access to the program by increasing the number of eligible businesses and non-profits. Under Phase 2, businesses and non-profits that employ up to 250 people will be eligible for grant rewards. Up to $5 million of the $95 million will be dedicated to support the viability of businesses less than a year old, which were not previously eligible. Applications for Phase 2 are due Thursday, October 29, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. with grants expected to be awarded in late November. For additional information about the program, please visit the Department of Economic and Community website.
    • The Maine Department of Labor is accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program (PUA). The PUA is a federal program that expands eligibility for unemployment benefits to categories typically not able to receive benefits, including self-employed workers and farmers and independent contractors. More information is available at Department of Labor, and an FAQ is available (PDF).
    • COVID-19 Relief Consumer Loan Program: This program provides no- to low-interest consumer loans through a loan guarantee program involving Maine’s banks, credit unions, and FAME. Interested borrowers should contact their local bank or credit union (not FAME) to see if the lender is offering this program and to apply.
    • 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.