MO-AG Minute | May 15, 2020
From Steve's Desk: Show Me Strong Agriculture
When I last wrote an article for the “MO-AG Minute”, we were in the throes of dealing with the onset of the COVID-19 virus. Today, we are focusing on Governor Parson’s “Show Me Strong Recovery”. Last week, Governor Parson highlighted this plan and encouraged Missourians to shop local and support Missouri-based businesses, which will be critical to stimulating the state’s economy moving forward. Also, I want to mention the “Buy Missouri” initiative which is directed by the Lt. Governor office and was created to recognize and promote Missouri companies and manufacturers and to strengthen our state’s economy. MO-AG is a partner of the Buy Missouri initiative and provides input to the Lt. Governor.
 
Another important development has been the formation of a working group which is to make recommendations for the use of federal funding. These funds have been provided for COVID-19-related costs under the CARES Act. More information about the working group can be found HERE. The working group is tasked with analyzing how the $2,379,853,017.00 that Missouri received from the federal government can best be utilized. According to the federal guidelines, some of the activities that the funds can be used is for “providing economic support to those suffering from employment or business interruptions due to COVID-19-related business closures” and “expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures” The recommendations are fairly broad. Given the stress faced by Missouri agriculture, a letter from MO-AG and the farm groups was sent to the work group. The letter can be seen HERE. In this letter, we state “Agriculture was in a precarious state prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, farm families and industry partners are facing unprecedented challenges as they work to provide food, feed, and fuel to citizens.” We make it clear that this an issue hitting all of agriculture stating that “When one segment of agriculture hurts, it filters to all sectors of the industry.”
 
In the days and weeks ahead, a major focus of the working group will be on business recovery. What has been the impact on your business? If you would like to share your concerns about the impact to your business or anything in general, please, call the MO-AG office and let us know. Your MO-AG staff has been discussing with legislators and members of the executive branch ideas which would maintain and expand agribusiness in Missouri. In my conversations, I am hearing from MO-AG members, elected leaders, and many others is a great desire to get Missouri’s economy, including the agricultural economy, back up and running strong.
 
I hope everyone has a successful spring season. Thank you for all that you do and for your support of MO-AG.
SBA to Make Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to U.S. Agricultural Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic
U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. SBA’s EIDL portal reopened on May 14 as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation, signed into law by the President one week ago, provided additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For more information, please visit: www.sba.gov/Disaster.
NGFA presents webinar on OSHA rules during COVID-19
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) definition of “workplace” covers everything from office buildings to country elevators. The upcoming webinar on May 20 is a valuable preparedness tool for any workplace, including grain handling facilities and offices.  Read more here and register.
JOIN ASTA TODAY for a free webinar
Please plan to join ASTA today, May 15, for a members-only conference call to discuss the latest updates around COVID-19. ASTA staff will provide information on the recent developments related to domestic and international seed issues, and answer questions from members.

CALL INFORMATION: Friday, May 15 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT | Conference Line: Toll Number: 1-212-381-2929, Toll Free Number: 1-800-250-2600 | Participant Pin Code: 44930208 | *Please RSVP to  Ellen Zimmerman
FMCSA issues extension of Emergency Declaration on hours of service relief (HOS) for critical commodities
TFI (The Fertilizer Institute) has been engaging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to urge an extension of the Emergency Declaration on hours of service relief (HOS) for critical commodities (see memo here). On Wednesday, FMCSA issued an extension of the Declaration through June 14. By execution of this extension of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 national emergency are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of the FMCSRs, except as restricted herein. See full declaration here.
From the farm right to your table!
Check out this directory of Missouri meat producers Missouri Farm Bureau has compiled that sell directly to consumers. If you are a producer that would like to be included, submit the form at the bottom of this page.
Updates: What our counterparts are up to...
Our friends in Ohio put together a great COVID-19 Resource Center where they have listed Coronavirus impacts in each state, and update daily to keep us all apprised of current issues. We have included a link on our COVID-19 Resource Page for you to view. Thank you to our good friends in Ohio for putting this together!
Check out MO-AG's COVID-19 resources
Can't find what you need here? Check out MO-AGs COVID-19 Resource Page.
For Missouri Department of Agriculture updates on waivers of laws and regulations and major agriculture milestones pertaining to COVID-19, click here.