USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.

“America’s farming community is facing an unprecedented situation as our nation tackles the coronavirus. President Trump has authorized USDA to ensure our patriotic farmers, ranchers, and producers are supported and we are moving quickly to open applications to get payments out the door and into the pockets of farmers,” said Secretary Perdue. “These payments will help keep farmers afloat while market demand returns as our nation reopens and recovers. America’s farmers are resilient and will get through this challenge just like they always do with faith, hard work, and determination.”

Beginning May 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses.

More information including how to apply here.

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Women Landowner Days

The Women, Food & Ag. Network is excited to announce that Women Landowner Dayspepper hallow has moved ONLINE! In partnership with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), we are now offering a free four-part online learning series from July-August 2020 for women who own or manage farmland in Black Hawk County and Polk County, Iowa and are interested in learning about profitable farming methods that can help improve water quality and soil health.

Women from outside Polk and Black Hawk counties are welcome to register, some of the material covered will be specifically catered to women in the watersheds in those counties. Continue reading

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Women Farmers Needed for Study on Stress and Happiness

A new study is seeking women farmers to interview to help understand the causes and soil in handsexperiences of stress and happiness among women farmers. If interested, please read more on eligibility and details about the study. For additional information and to express interest in participation, contact Dr. Carly Nichols (319-467-1728, carly-nichols@uiowa.edu), Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, University of Iowa. Continue reading

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SBA COVID-19 Financial Assistance Available for Farmers

From https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories were able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.

The new eligibility is made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
  • SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.

At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.

Eligible agricultural businesses may apply for the Loan Advance here.

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Women Landowners Days Learning Series

The Women, Food and Agriculture Network will now be offering Women Landowner pepper hallowDays as a free online learning series in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). (Dates to be announced as they shift gears to an online platform!)

This learning series is for women who own or manage over 40 acres of farmland in Polk County, IA and Black Hawk County, IA and are interested in learning about profitable farming methods that can help improve water quality and soil health.

REGISTER HERE for the learning series specific to the Polk County watershed.

REGISTER HERE for the learning series specific to the Black Hawk County watershed.

We hope you can join!

Please note: Due to the disruption from COVID-19, we are still working through the details for how to best offer this learning series online. We will update all registrants as soon as we have more information!
This program is funded in part by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider, Employer, Lender. If you need special accommodation to participate, please contact Moselle using the information above.

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PBS Interview Highlights Need for Women Landowner Programming

In March, PBS aired an interview with Jean Eels, who works with the Women, Food & Agriculture Network’s Women Caring for the Land program. In the interview, Eels talks

jean and soil test

Jean Eels, left, demonstrates soil tests that can be done at home.

about the importance of reaching Iowa’s women landowners, who own or co-own nearly half of Iowa’s land, through conservation meetings. These events provide them with vital resources for conservation assistance and empower them to ask questions and work with their tenants, USDA agency representatives and other conservation partners. Says Eels, “We know that 50 to 70 percent of the women who come to a one day meeting will take an action to improve conservation on their land.”

“We always just talk about farmers. They’re not the only decision makers out there that can make that difference. We’ve got to change how we talk about the landscape.”

Watch the interview here.

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Tama Women, Land & Legacy Educates on Conservation

Tama County Women, Land & Legacy recently held an event on conservation options for land owners. Below is a re-cap of their event from Tama WLL team member Melody Bro.

For farm operators, it can sometimes be frustrating when they want to add conservation practices to the ground they rent and the landowner doesn’t understand the practices’ long-term benefits. On the flip side, how can a landowner effectively approach his or her renter about adding practices to the renter’s “Conservation Toolbox” in order to improve or sustain the farm’s productivity?

Continue reading

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Women, Land & Legacy News

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Enjoy the latest news from Women, Land & Legacy

In this edition:

  • Meet Mollie Aronowitz, Land Manager and WLL State Team Member
  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) open for Enrollment
  • Winter Agriculture Conferences
  • WLL Coordinator Interview on Ag News Daily
  • Women, Land & Legacy Upcoming Events

Archived newsletters can be found here.

Thanks for reading!

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Meet Mollie Aronowitz, Women, Land & Legacy’s Newest State Team Member

The Women, Land & Legacy State Team has been the backbone of the program since it kicked-off in 2004. Team members represent a range of USDA and state agencies as well as non-agency groups and support our local teams with guidance for outreach to women 2018.9 Mollie Aronowitz Headshotin their counties. We recently asked our newest ST member, Mollie Aronowitz, to tell us a bit about herself and her interest in serving on the team.

Mollie is the Sustainability Director and a farm manager for Peoples Company. She is currently the only woman accredited farm manager with the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in Iowa, with less than ten accredited women across the country. Mollie will be a key-note speaker at the upcoming Connecting Women in Ag Conference, sponsored by the Buchanan Women, Land & Legacy team. Continue reading

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Upcoming Women, Land & Legacy Events

We have great events coming up this winter with more events being planned, so stay tuned to our calendar to find an event near you. Don’t see your county listed? Check out our map and list of participating counties here. Want to see Women, Land & Legacy in your county? Contact us to learn more! 

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – Women of USDAmuscatine county
January 3rd, Walcott

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott will hold their next Grow and Share with local women who work for the USDA. Hear their journeys to their position and insight into the work they do. Departments will include Rural Development, Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Come early for lunch, presentation begins at 1 p.m. Gramma’s Kitchen in Walcott. For more info. contact Lydia, 563-886-6214, ext. 3.

Buchanan WLL – Connecting Women in Ag Conferencebuchanan county
January 4th, Independence
Buchanan WLL will hold their first Connecting Women in Ag. Conference in Independence. Speakers include Julie Kenney, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Mollie Aronowitz, Director of Sustainability and Land Manager for Peoples Company. Breakout sessions will cover social media, selling food products, and landscaping. More details here or on the team’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/buchananwomenlandandlegacy/

Buena Vista/Pocahontas WLL – Benchmarkingpocahontas county
January 9th, Pocahontas
BV/Pocahontas WLL will partner with ISU Extension & Outreach for a one hour Annie’s Project session on how to compare farm family expenses with data, establish a reality check on how much living expenses a family can expect the farm to pay and explore how benchmarking helps make better farm and family decisions. 1:30 p.m., Pocahontas ISU Extension & Outreach Conference Room, 305 North Main Street. Please RSVP to Lexie Seuntjens at 712-335-3103 or seuntjen@iastate.edu.

Kossuth WLL – Stress Managementkossuth county
January 16th, Algona
Kossuth WLL will host a stress management session. Join the team for yoga from 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. at Firefly Yoga, 120 N. Moore St. in Algona and a stress management discussion from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Rize Nutrition, 18 E. State St., Algona. RSVP by January 10th, 515-295-5156 EXT. 3 or
kelsi.sieren@usda.gov.

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – FarmHer Documentary Movie Nightscott county
January 23rd, Donahue
Join the team and other local women for a movie night viewing of the FarmHer Documentary. 10600 275th St., Donahue. 6 – 9 p.m. (snow date will be Feb. 13th). Contact Lydia for more details, 563-886-6214, ext. 3.

Madison WLL – Book Club
January 23rd, Winterset
Madison County WLL is madison countyhosting its first of three book club meetings this winter.  The first book is Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish.  There will be two separate times: 1:30pm at the Senior Dining & Activity Center and 6:30pm at the Madison Co. Extension office, both in Winterset. For more information, email madisoncountywll@gmail.com, call 515-462-2961 x3, or visit the Facebook page.

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – Grow & Sharemuscatine county
February 7th, Walcott
The next Grow & Share from Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL will be held, topic to be determined. Gramma’s kitchen, come early for lunch, program will begin at 1 p.m. Stay tuned to the team’s Facebook group page for more details and other news or contact Lydia, 563-886-6214, ext. 3.

Madison WLL – Book Clubmadison county
February 27th, Winterset
Madison County WLL is hosting its second of three book club meetings this winter.  The second book is Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl by Carol Bodensteiner.  There will be two separate times: 1:30pm at the Senior Dining & Activity Center and 6:30pm at the Madison Co. Extension office, both in Winterset.  For more information, email madisoncountywll@gmail.com, call 515-462-2961 x3, or visit the Facebook page.

SW WLL – Women Gaining Ground Conferencemills county
March 7th, Glenwood
The SW WLL team made up of Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page and Pottawatamie counties will put on their annual Women, Gaining Ground conference at the Glenwood High School in Glenwood. More details to come to their Facebook page.

Madison WLL – Book Clubmadison county
March 26th, Winterset
Madison County WLL is hosting its third of three book club meetings this winter.  The third book is Women and the Land written by Barbara Hall with photography by Kathryn Gamble.  There will be two separate times: 1:30pm at the Senior Dining & Activity Center and 6:30pm at the Madison Co. Extension office, both in Winterset. For more information, email madisoncountywll@gmail.com, call 515-462-2961 x3, or visit the Facebook page.

Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL – Conservation Grazingmuscatine county
April 3rd, Walcott
The next Grow & Share from Cedar/Muscatine/Scott WLL will be held on conservation grazing. The speaker will be Hannah Howard with The Nature Conservancy. Gramma’s kitchen, come early for lunch, program will begin at 1 p.m. Stay tuned to the team’s Facebook group page for more details and other news or contact Lydia, 563-886-6214, ext. 3.

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