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Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Announced: Farmers to Receive Direct Support

On May 19, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture announced the details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in relief for COVID-19 related losses to America's farmers and ranchers. Applications will be accepted beginning May 26 from agricultural producers who have suffered losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to CFAP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with distributors to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat to deliver food to Americans in need.

CFAP has been designed to provide direct relief and financial assistance to agricultural producers suffering a five percent or greater price decline due to lower demand, surplus production and disruptions to shipping patterns resulting from the pandemic. Funding for the program is derived partially ($9.5 billion) from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act, with the remaining funding being provided by the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act ($6.5 billion). Farmers and ranchers eligible for assistance under CFAP include those engaged in the production of the following: non-specialty crops and wool (e.g., malting barley, canola, corn, soybeans, etc.); livestock; dairy; and specialty crops (e.g., almonds, beans, broccoli, sweet corn, strawberries, tomatoes, etc.).

Applications will be processed by the USDA through local Farm Service Agency offices, and documentation to support a producer's application and certification may be requested. Payment under the program is limited to $250,000 per person or entity, and 80 percent of a recipient producer's payment will be provided upon approval of the application.

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Kimberly A. Clarke, Varnum, Immigration Lawyer

Kim focuses her practice on immigration matters, including nonimmigrant petitions, both employment- and family-based permanent residence applications, expatriation and foreign visa issues. She has developed a strong background in the area of worker verification issues and managed clients through internal and agency Form I-9 audits, USICE compliance investigations and civil criminal charges.

In addition, Kim maintains a specialty practice of consultation with agricultural clients and handles various agricultural labor and employment issues such as compliance with...

Brion Doyle, Litigation attorney, Varnum

Brion is a member of the Litigation Practice Team. He is experienced in commercial and environmental litigation in state and federal court. Brion has represented clients in a wide range of commercial and tort cases including class action defense, products liability defense, personal injury defense, commercial contract disputes, covenants not to compete, embezzlement and bank fraud actions, minority shareholder disputes, and in collection and creditors’ rights litigation. He has handled all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including facilitative mediation, arbitration and case evaluation under the Michigan Court Rules.

Brion is also a member of Varnum’s E-Discovery Task Force, where he advises clients on matters relating to the preservation and production of electronically-stored information, as well as best practices for companies in retaining data. 

Ethan Beswick Business Attorney Varnum Law Firm

Ethan Beswick is an associate attorney with a business and corporate service practice and additional experience in tax, real estate and aircraft matters. He provides general business and transactional work and has experience in mergers and acquisitions, business transactions, financing, contracts, and day-to-day business issues.

Ethan also works regularly with business tax, international tax, and other tax related issues, and assists clients with real estate sales and acquisitions, commercial leasing matters, and real estate financing transactions.

 An instrument-rated...