Oregon’s producers endured multiple natural disasters in 2021 including extreme heat, drought, and wildfires which are threatening their viability.
Natural disaster relief is urgently needed. Because federal assistance is not accessible to many of Oregon’s producers, the state has established ODAP, forgivable loans for disaster relief for producers who are unable to access federal relief funds.
Unfortunately, the OCFSN heard from producers and farm support organizations that this forgivable loan structure may not be accessible to many small and BIPOC producers, the same producers who may not have the resources to weather disaster-related disruptions and often fall between the cracks of traditional safety nets and government aid.
To ensure that all of Oregon’s farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to access timely disaster relief funding provided by the State, the OCFSN requested and was granted $1.5 million to establish a Disaster Relief Fund for Farmers under Senate Bill 5561, section 15. This Disaster Relief Fund will provide direct financial support in the form of grants to small-scale farmers and ranchers impacted by natural disasters, who are not able to access federal disaster relief funds and/or the State’s Forgivable Disaster Loan Program. Our Family Farms was a key partner in bringing this funding to Oregon’s farmers and ranchers.
This grant program was created for farms who are not eligible for, or cannot feasibly apply for, federal disaster relief and/or a forgivable loan from the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program.
Farms should apply for federal disaster relief programs and/or the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program (forgivable loans), unless they are ineligible or applying for either is not feasible.
Farms who apply for a forgivable loan from the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program (ODAP), through the Oregon Department of Agriculture, are not eligible to apply for this OCFSN program, unless they apply for and are denied an ODAP forgivable loan. Applicants must be small-scale farmers and ranchers (see income threshold below) who are actively working the land located within the state of Oregon, derive a portion of their income from their own farm business, and are involved in the day-to-day operations of the farm.
Grant Applicants must be farmers whose operations make a maximum of $350,000 in adjusted gross farm income annually. If your adjusted gross farm income exceeded $350,000 in 2020 (reference year in application) due to special circumstances, you may still be eligible: please explain in your application.
Farms whose income makes up the primary or a very substantial portion of the family’s basic income will be given preference.
Preference will be given to farmers and ranchers from populations historically experiencing the greatest systemic inequities and who are most likely to fall through the cracks of our traditional safety nets. For this reason, farmers of color, immigrant farmers, and undocumented farmers will be given preference, but we encourage all farmers to apply.
Farms that are primarily educational, non-profit, and demonstration farms are not eligible to apply.
The dates of the three application rounds are currently estimated as follows but may be adjusted as needed:
Round 1: 3/11/2022 – 4/8/2022 (up to 40% of funds, $600,000, disbursed). Round 1 Review Committee Meeting: Week of 4/10/2022.
Round 2: 4/11/2022-5/20/2022 (up to 40% of funds, $600,000, disbursed). Round 2 Review Committee Meeting: Week of 5/23/2022.
Round 3: 5/23/2022- June or July (exact date to be determined) (remaining funds disbursed). Round 3 Review Committee Meeting: TBD.
FOR MORE INFORMATION – https://ocfsn.org/disaster-relief-grant