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.
Coronavirus has been devastating to agriculture and the U.S. economy. It’s brought particular damage to dairy, a year-round, perishable product.
The federal government has forcefully responded to dairy’s coronavirus crisis, offering disaster payments to producers and purchases of dairy products, along with replenished loan programs that assist dairy businesses. Still, more work will be needed to help offset the economic damage of this pandemic. You can help by writing a letter to Congress. Spend a few minutes customizing our call-to-action letter urging Congress to prioritize assistance to dairy in its next coronavirus assistance package. Let them know why dairy is important to you and your community and how the outlook for U.S. dairy affects you and your community.
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.
Dairy farms are 24-hour, 7-day per week businesses. Following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) precautions minimize on-farm risks to dairy farmers, family, employees and essential professional and service providers.
Agriculture is among the essential critical infrastructure identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The full list of industries and DHS guidance can be accessed here.
NMPF has crafted a template work permit for food and agriculture employees that explains the DHS guidance and asks relevant authorities to grant employees permission to travel to and from work. Along with the permit itself, the document also defines who is considered a food and agriculture employee for critical-infrastructure purposes.
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:
Milk Reduction and Disposal
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.