Farm Aid & the Alliance Partner to Fund Farmers During COVID-19

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Great Lakes COVID-19 Farmer Resilience Initiative Grants Available June 6th

On April 11 Farm Aid hosted a virtual show, At Home With Farm Aid, with performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews to show support and solidarity for family farmers and ranchers.
Farm Aid will be disbursing the $400,000 raised from the live-streamed event through a national COVID-19 Farmer Resilience Initiative that will quickly distribute emergency funds in the amount of $500 to farm families. The grants are meant to provide immediate relief and foster resilience before larger sources of money become available.

The following guidelines apply to farms in the Great Lakes region (IL, IN, OH, WI, MI). For emergency relief in other states, visit: 

Download PDF version of this information.

How Much Money is Awarded?

Successful applicants will receive a one-time $500 emergency relief payment. 

Who Can Apply?

Family farmers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and have suffered hardship, as a result, are eligible to apply. Funds through this application are reserved for farms in the Great Lakes region (IL, IN, OH, WI, MI) that have the highest need and practice sustainable methods. Family farms are defined as those where a substantial portion of family income comes from agricultural production and the family is actively engaged in day-to-day farm management and labor. Sustainable farms are defined as farming and/or ranching units that produce horticultural crops, tree crops, or animals intended for human consumption, integrate goals of environmental stewardship, economic profitability, and social and economic equity into their farming system. Rural residences that obtain a small portion of income from agricultural products are not eligible. Only one grant is allowed per family/farm operation. 

What Can the Funds be Used For?

Awards are intended as emergency relief only. Use of the funds is restricted to household expenses, such as groceries, home utilities, medical bills, counseling, or other household expenses not directly related to the commercial operation of the farm or ranch. The funds may not be used for any business expense or investment. The IRS guidelines regarding direct assistance to farm families prevent Farm Aid from granting funds to support the farm and its business costs. Your acceptance of this Disaster Fund award signifies your understanding and agreement to these use requirements. 

How Do I Apply?

Applications will open on June 6. Farmers can apply online at: We encourage you to submit your application as quickly as possible to ensure funds are still available. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed weekly until funds run out. 


This information will be used for processing applications and required reporting to Farm Aid. We will not share this information with any other individuals or organizations unless required by law. 

Need Help?

For assistance with this application, please contact: Ana Fochesatto, 847-920-6062,