The Emergency On-Farm Support Fund provides a 35 million investment to improve health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19. 

The fund will provide support to farmers for direct infrastructure improvements to living quarters and work stations, temporary or emergency housing (on or off-farm), as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitary stations, and any other health and safety measures to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19. Contributions under the program will be cost-shared 50:50 with the applicants up to $100,000.

Who is Eligible

Eligible recipients are primary Canadian agricultural producers (e.g., farm, ranch or other operations) that produce agricultural products for resale and employ farm workers, either domestic and/or Temporary Foreign Workers. 

They can include: sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations/cooperatives/communal organizations, trusts, band farms. 

Where the federal government is delivering, there are no minimum number of employees per farm. 

Each jurisdiction where a province is delivering the program is provided with the flexibility to decide on the limits regarding the minimum number of workers a farm employs.

Aquaculture production is not eligible under the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund.

What kinds safety measures are eligible? 

Eligible activities can be retroactive to March 15, 2020 and must be completed by February 26, 2021.

Eligible activities include:

1. On-farm retrofit or adjustments to existing agricultural operations to cover extraordinary costs associated with COVID-19 to ensure worker safety, such as:

  • work space adjustments to allow for proper safety measure and physical distancing.
  • enhancements to required employer-provided housing for workers as a result of COVID-19 to ensure worker safety.
  • support for temporary housing arrangements for workers in cases where existing facilities cannot adequately allow or be modified to allow for physical distancing.
  • additional transportation to and from employer provided housing and job-sites to allow physical distancing as a result of COVID-19.

2. Disposable and non-disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) that are incremental to normal operations due to COVID-19, such as:

  • disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, sanitizer, etc (to a maximum of 10% of up to $10,000 per farm).
  • non-disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) such as body temperature screening, face shields, etc).

3. Other associated costs related to worker training and safety COVID-19 protocols, such as:

  • costs associated with worker implementation of enhanced protocols such as interpretation services or training on COVID-19 protocols

How much can each applicant receive? 

Where the federal government is delivering the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund directly to producers(Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon Northwest Territories and Nunavut), the support is provided based on a 50:50 cost shared ratio up to a maximum of $100,000. The federal government will provide half of the cost of implementing the safety measures, while the applicant provides the remaining half. 

For farms owned primarily by women and youth owners, the federal government will cover 60% of the costs with the applicant providing the remainder. 

In the other provinces, each jurisdiction may choose to adjust the parameters based on the specific situation in the province, including the potential to align the programming with provincial initiatives. The details for each province will be made known as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada signs the delivery agreements in the coming weeks.

Is there a total amount an applicant can receive? 

Support can be provided based on the cost shared ratio, up to a maximum of $100,000.

How will applications be prioritized once received and how long will it take to receive the funds?

For the provinces where the federal government will deliver, the applications will be reviewed as they are received. The program will target the highest risk farms for COVID-19 outbreaks. Priority will be given to those projects that are mitigating the most risk, specifically where there are active outbreaks or there are a large number of workers concentrated within the farm facilities.

In provinces were the federal government is delivering funds directly to producers, we estimate that it will take up to 30 business days from the time the claim form is deemed complete. In provinces where they are delivering the fund, it will be up to each jurisdiction to set their own service standards regarding this fund.

How to Apply

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will be delivering the fund to producers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Application forms are now available (link to program page). For more information, please call toll-free at 1-866-367-8506. 

In British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the program will be delivered by the provincial government or other agency. The roll-out of these programs will occur in the coming weeks.

Investments made by producers after March 15, 2020 will be eligible for reimbursement under the program. 

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