CFSA's Grower's Toolbox
Dear Farmer,

We are excited about this year's Sustainable Agriculture Conference, and I hope you are too. If you have not had a chance to check out this year's line up, now's the time. This year, you will not have to worry about choosing between three or four workshops that are at the same time because attendees will have access to recorded webinars for a year! 

If you haven't yet checked out the program details for the second round of the USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2), I strongly encourage you to do so below. I know the first round of CFAP might not have been of value to you, but CFAP 2 allows farmers who raised crops on this list to receive a relief payment based on their sales of those crops in 2019. If any of this is dizzying, we're hosting a free webinar on Wednesday evening that explains CFAP 2 from top to bottom.


Karen McSwain, CFSA Associate Executive Director for Programs

PS - Need growing space? There's space currenlty available in Lomax's greenhouse, fields, and resident farmer program. Interested? Have questions? Email our farm coordinator, Dylan, ( for more info. 

T-minus 16 days until CFSA's 35th annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference, November 4-8, 2020! With nearly 600 of your peers already registered, we want to make sure you know:
  • The program is live, including the schedule. 
  • Our list keeps growing, we're up to 155 speakers and 56 sessions!
  • We added $3,000 worth of prizes to give out to SAC 2020 challenge winners.
  • National FIELD School – We’re partnering with the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project to include 12 sessions focused on incubator and apprenticeship training programs in the conference lineup.
  • Attendees will get access to the app and library of recordings for a year!
It's not too late to get a ticket! Registration prices will go up after Nov. 1, so save your seat at the lowest price by buying today!

CFAP 2: USDA Opens COVID Relief Funding
for Small Farms. Apply Now!


There is finally a program that may give some meaningful coronavirus relief payments to small farms serving local food markets.

On Sept. 21, the USDA announced a new round of relief payments to farmers under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2), including payments to some farms based on their 2019 revenues instead of their volume of crop production. Farmers affected by the pandemic should review the program eligibility rules and consider applying. The deadline for applications is Dec. 11, 2020, but funds may be depleted before then, so interested farmers should apply as soon as possible. Continue reading about CFAP 2.

Organic Certification Cost-Share Program - Apply Now!
North Carolina Farmers:
NCDA&CS is accepting applications for the NC Organic Cost-Share Program. Operations that have successfully received their initial USDA organic certification from a USDA-accredited certifying agent or have incurred and paid expenses related to the renewal of their USDA organic certification are eligible to receive reimbursements. 
Payments are limited to 50% of an individual producer’s or handler/processor’s certification costs up to a maximum of $500 per certificate or category of certification per year.  Expenses related to the certification must have been incurred and paid between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. 
Applications and supporting documentation must be sent to NCDA&CS by November 20, 2020, which will then be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are depleted. 

South Carolina Farmers:
South Carolina farmers and food processors who want to pursue organic certification may qualify for reimbursement through a grant administered by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program will reimburse producers and handlers of agricultural products up to 50% of the operation’s total allowable certification costs, up to a maximum of $500 per certification scope: crops, livestock, wild crops, and handling (i.e., processing). The deadline to apply for reimbursement for the current fiscal year is December 18, 2020.

SCDA also has three other cost-share reimbursement programs available as projects of the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, including one that offsets the cost of installing an affordable Cool Bot cold storage unit; and two that support businesses through the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Audit process.
Grants Available for Livestock & Poultry Farmers

It's Fund-a-Farmer Grant time! Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is offering grants for livestock and poultry farmers who wish to expand animal welfare, build capacity, and/or improve pasture for their animals. Grants of up to $2,500 are available for projects such as building mobile housing, constructing fences, laying water lines on pasture, and much more. Farmers located in the U.S. who raise beef cattle, bison, broiler chickens, dairy cows, goats, laying hens, pigs, turkeys, and/or sheep may be eligible to apply. 

Application deadline: December 1, 2020.
 NC: EQIP Sign-up Deadline for FY21 Funding

The North Carolina Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced November 20, 2020, as the sign-up deadline for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which provides financial assistance to farmers for implementing conservation practices that improve soil, water, and wildlife quality. Examples of conservation practices supported by EQIP that benefit
  • Crop producers: cover cropping, mulching, drip irrigation, crop rotation, and habitat for beneficial insects.
  • Livestock producers: moveable fencing, pasture improvement, providing water to livestock, preventing soil erosion near watering areas, and a composting facility, to name just a few for each. 
The deadline for SC NRCS’s EQIP signup deadline just passed (Oct. 16, 2020).

A Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) is a common way to assess conservation needs and ultimately access EQIP funding, and plans must be developed by a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP). Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has a certified TSP on staff to write a particular CAP, called a CAP-138, which is specifically for farmers transitioning to organic production. If you are transitioning to organic production, apply to your state’s EQIP program before the March 6 deadline, and, once approved (typically spring of the following year), you can apply for technical services through CFSA to have your plan written. For more information, see our CAP 138 page and contact your local NRCS office.  



Wednesday, Nov. 4 - Sunday, Nov. 8 | Virtual

SC Produce Safety Rule Grower Training
Thursday, Nov. 12 | Virtual

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The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is on a mission to bring local, organic food to your table from a farmer who shares your values – and we can’t do it without you. Together we are building a regional food system that is good for consumers, growers, and the land.
Copyright © 2020 Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, All rights reserved.

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