The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) developed a Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program that awards supplemental funding to agribusinesses for purposes of providing COVID-19 protections to their workers. This grant was made available under section 751 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. When creating the PRS Grant Program, the USDA took into account extensive stakeholder feedback that was offered during listening sessions held in March 2021, as well as written comments that were submitted for review.
Coverage and Eligibility
Activities that are eligible for coverage through the grant include those related to implementing workplace safety measures (such as providing personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies), as well as retrofitting facilities to protect against COVID-19 and a variety of other protective measures. A complete list of approved uses is provided on the PRS Grant Program’s website.
Eligible recipients for the first round of funding include certain small producers, food processors and distributors, and farmers’ markets. Applicants must meet the following industry North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and size standards:
- Producer codes:
- Subsector 111 — Crop Production
- Subsector 112 — Animal Production and Aquaculture
- Processor codes:
- Subsector 115 — Post-Harvest Crop Activities
- Subsector 311— Food Manufacturing
- Distributor codes:
- Subsector 424 — Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods
- Subsector 493 — Warehousing and Storage
- All farmers’ markets are eligible to apply for funds
Applicants can verify their NAICS code using the search feature at the NAICS website.
Applying for the PRS Grant Program
The deadline to apply for the initial round of funding is Nov. 22, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The USDA AMS may also incorporate additional rounds of funding that expand eligibility. Future rounds could include organizations not covered in the initial round, but those rounds are dependent upon the PRS Grant Program’s availability of funds.
Interested parties should apply using the Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program Application.
If you have questions about this or other funding programs, please contact your HW&Co. agribusiness advisor.