USDA Invests $700 million to Provide Relief to Small Producers, Processors, Distributors, Farmers Markets & Seafood Processing Vessels and Processors Impacted by COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will soon publish Requests for Applications (RFAs) for new grant programs – the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant program to support agricultural stakeholders who haven’t yet received substantial federal financial assistance in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. These grant programs will provide assistance to small businesses in certain commodity areas, including small scale specialty crop producers and processors, shellfish, aquaculture and other select producers, meat and other processors, distributors, farmers markets, seafood facilities and processing vessels.

Specialty crop producers, meat processors, and famers markets will be able to seek reimbursements for pandemic-related expenses, such as workplace safety improvements, medical costs (i.e., for vaccines/testing), retrofitting facilities, transportation etc., through this program. Find the full list here.

USDA released grant forecast for these new programs to help potential applicants determine their eligibility and to prepare to apply for funding. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants and $50 million is available for SPRS. The new programs are funded by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

For the PRS grants, eligible entities are detailed in the Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program forecast. Eligible entities should visit the PRS grant portal at for complete information on the program. Applicants will be required to have a DUNS number to apply, to obtain a free of charge DUNS Number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) for USDA PRS Grant Applicants click  here.

The application period will open on September 23rd and close on November 8th; entities will need their DUNS number to submit an application.