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COVID-19 and general agriculture updates: June 18

Hello again DeSoto and Sarasota County Producers!

I have a small handful of updates for you this afternoon and they fall into these four categories: updates to the Paycheck Protection Program, call for nominations for FL Woman of the Year in Ag Award, NRCS contract management updates, and an online FSMA-compliant Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course.

Virus-related Updates:

1. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been revised, simplified, and expanded
• Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:
• Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
• Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
• Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.
• Open this link in another tab for full details and links: PPP program updates

All-Producer Updates:

2. Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award
• FDACS is currently accepting nominations for the Woman of the Year in Agriculture. Since 1985, women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture have been honored with the “Woman of the Year in Agriculture” award. This award, sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in conjunction with the Florida State Fair Authority, is presented to the recipient during the Florida State Fair in Tampa.
• If you know a woman who you believe deserves this recognition, please review this link (https://www.fdacs.gov/Agriculture-Industry/Agricultural-Awards-and-Honors/Woman-of-the-Year-in-Agriculture-Award) and submit a nomination to Katherine Goletz (Katherine.Goletz@FDACS.gov).

3. USDA Expands farmers.gov website
• You can now manage your NRCS contracts from the farmers.gov website. Here’s some of the features now available:
• View, download and e-sign documents;
• Request conservation assistance;
• Reference technical terms and submit questions;
• Access information on current and past conservation practices; and
• View detailed information on all previous and ongoing contracts, including the amount of planned and received cost-share assistance.

Fruit and Vegetable Farmer Updates:

4. Produce Safety Alliance training (PSA) – online option
• Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and food safety are encouraged to attend.
• The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement.
• This training will be taught on-line over three days: July 21st – 23rd, daily from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm EST
• https://www.eventbrite.com/e/remote-produce-safety-alliance-grower-training-registration-106953653256

All my best to all of you,

Sarah Bostick
Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent – Sarasota County
Interim Agriculture Extension Agent – DeSoto County
University of Florida/IFAS Extension
Twin Lakes Park
6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241
Cell: 678-920-0040
Fax: 941-861-9886
Email: sbostick@scgov.net or sarahbostick@ufl.edu
Web: https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasota/ or https://www.scgov.net

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