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Story in Brief

COVID-19 took a toll on all agricultural commodity prices as well as market stability and predictability. Beef cattle producers had cattle that were ready to market but could only do so at a greatly reduced price. Holding them led to more loss with increased labor and inputs. Row crop producers were in the middle of securing operating funds and getting prepared to plant. Business plans for these enterprises were impossible to implement due to the effects of COVID-19. The Warren County Extension Coordinator collaborated with the UGA Small Business Development Center to promote a Loan Disaster Assistance Program offered by the United States Small Business administration. These two offices also offered technical assistance to farmers who needed help with the process. A total of 27 farmers applied for loans through this program. These farmers all received grants of $1,000 for each employee in their agricultural enterprise, whether or not they were granted the loans. Collectively, area grants totaled $54,000 and the loans totaled $2,487,000. All applicants were offered loans of various amounts depending on the size of their farming operation and their individual needs. These loans made it possible for farmers to refinance existing loans at lower interest rates, have an extra year before another payment is due and formulate a new business plan.