January 23, 2018 – We are heartened by the countless acts of kindness as North Bay communities recover from the fires. We are particularly grateful for the rapid and visionary response of the Farmers Guild / Community Alliance with Family Farmers and their partners in creating the North Bay Just & Resilient Futures Fund; they also recently accepted the first cycle of applications for their Family Farm Recovery Fund. Kudos to them all for responding with resilience.
In the weeks since the fires ignited early on October 8th, FarmLink has learned from agencies and partners about resources for those impacted. Below are key resources for farmers and ranchers. We have also explored in depth how our tools for land and financing might contribute to fire recovery. Kerry McGrath, our North Coast Regional Coordinator, has been working on land access in particular. We are hopeful that disaster assistance options available to local growers will be effective.
For farmers and ranchers impacted by the fires, we understand that current resources may not be adequate to meet the needs for long-term recovery. For farmers impacted by the fires who are looking for additional options, FarmLink is offering to:
- Waive our 2% loan fee for operating and equipment loans up to $100,000
- Lower our interest rate by two points, to 5%, for operating and equipment loans up to $100,000
- Provide pro bono technical assistance on matters that may help generate more resources, such as preparing financial statements, loan packaging, and disaster assistance applications, regardless of where farmers choose to seek assistance.
Some interesting USDA tools for managing risk could also contribute to future stability and resilience: Risk Management Agency’s Whole Farm Revenue Protection and Farm Service Agency’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. FarmLink has prepared resources on these programs and plans to share more about them and discuss them with farmers this winter and spring.
Listed below are disaster assistance resources available from the USDA and other federal agencies. Here is a helpful overall summary from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Davis.
Reference Guide – USDA Disaster Resources for Farmers, Ranchers and Communities (scroll down to the Disaster Payments For Agricultural Losses)
Summary of USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans:
Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance page:
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
Finally, Farm Aid, a longtime supporter of FarmLink, offers a Resource Guide for Farm Crisis Support which includes resources for when disaster strikes from groups like Farmers Legal Action Group and Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA.