Dairy farmers and industry professionals are monitoring public health and responding to market effects as coronavirus continues to shape every aspect of American life. This page offers NMPF-created and curated resources focused on dairy’s response to the pandemic. NMPF will continue working with lawmakers and regulators to ensure a safe and adequate supply of milk and to mitigate economic harm to dairy farmers during this challenging time.
COVID-19 vaccinations make the U.S. healthier and safer, and they are important to building back economies. For dairy, vaccines get people back into restaurants, keep schools open, and revive outlets for dairy products that have been hampered by pandemic-era life.
But herd immunity does not happen on its own. It takes a lot of shots and a lot of trust, as people who may be hesitant to receive a vaccine shy away from inoculation. This is frequently the case in rural areas, where many lives are naturally socially distanced, human interactions are fewer and access to health care facilities and educational materials are not readily available.
That’s where dairy farms and their cooperatives come in. Dairy farmers are leaders in their communities, as well as significant employers. They’re also usually part of a cooperative, which has expertise and resources that can be applied in many areas, including public health. For all these reasons, and more, dairy has emerged as a key part of outreach to medically underserved rural areas, making sure those regions – and with it, the nation — has its fair chance to overcome COVID-19.
See below for an up-to-date listing of COVID-19 resources, including vaccination information, for dairy farmers and their workforce.
“Our farm is so glad to be hosting a vaccine clinic for area agriculture workers. Making sure vaccines are accessible and available to our community members is integral to protecting us all.” – Jenni Tilton Flood, Flood Brothers Farm
Vaccinating essential workers, including the dairy workforce, is important because of their role in maintaining critical infrastructure operations and their increased risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Vaccination is one of many important tools to help stop the pandemic.
Workforce Coronavirus Prevention and Management
The CDC provides clear guidance about preventing infection in both English and Spanish. It also provides a number of printable factsheets and posters in both languages suitable for workplace use. Below are resources dairy farmers are encouraged to review and use:
The CDC has developed Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19. The guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19 and provides planning considerations should widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19 occur.
All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect workers from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. During a COVID-19 outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.
The American Trucking Associations has developed a COVID-19 webpage with relevant alerts, facts, and answers to frequently asked questions for industry stakeholders to use as a resource during this pandemic. The page is updated regularly with new information, and is a great source for issues regarding truck stop closings, state and federal declarations, Congressional actions and other developments that may be impacting truck drivers during this time. Additional hauling resources are listed below.
Congress passed and President Trump signed a significant legislative package in December that includes both additional COVID-19 stimulus as well as legislation to fund the federal government for the 2021 Fiscal Year. NMPF worked closely with Congress to secure a number of critical dairy-related provisions in the package including:
NMPF is working closely with USDA and Congress on implementation of this package as well as on subsequent rounds of relief. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest developments on this bill.
Dairy farmers are eligible for funding for U.S. Small Business Administration loans through the Paycheck Protection Program and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
SBA, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, reopened the Paycheck Protection Program loan portal on Monday, Jan. 11.
COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
The SBA is still accepting EIDL applications. Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2
The application period for CFAP 2 closed on December 11. See below and visit farmers.gov/cfap for more information.