ALEI resources available to fight COVID-19 issues (Ag Law)
(Editor’s note: Nicole Cook is an environmental and agricultural faculty legal specialist for the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.)
Maryland’s Agriculture Law Education Initiative is committed to providing resources to help Maryland’s agricultural producers navigate the many evolving financial and legal issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
We know you are making quick decisions with very little certainty. ALEI is working to provide you with current, accurate, comprehensive and easy-to-understand information to help you get the financial, marketing and legal assistance you need to keep your farm in business.
ALEI has information and resources on our website, umaglaw.org, about new financial supports available for farm businesses, new protection programs for agricultural workers, changes to rules for farmers markets and pick-your-own operations, and other resources to help you better manage your farm’s COVID-19-related risks.
We’ve created a webpage specifically for COVID-19 Resources. You can find it at umaglaw.org. Just click on the “COVID-19 Resources” link.
There, you will find articles and short videos with information about employment and labor matters related to paid sick leave and family leave for workers during the pandemic, changes to the H-2A Visa Worker Program, social distancing requirements, and other resources related to farm workers.
We have also posted information and short videos about the Federal Paycheck Protection Program, which helps keep your workers on your payroll, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that is available for self-employed farmers, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which is now available to most all agricultural enterprises.
There is also information on our website about state-mandated changes to operations at farmers markets and pick-your-own operations, information about what farm businesses can do to put their operation in the best position to recover indemnity payments under the terms of their property and liability insurance policies for losses related to COVID-19, and information about force majeure clauses that might come into play in various purchasing or service agreements.
We also have information about the legal rights of borrowers when dealing with debt collection agencies.
In addition, ALEI is offering webinars on COVID-19-related legal issues.
Be sure to check ALEI’s website, umaglaw.org, often for updates and to find information about new events.
Some updates will also be posted on the Maryland Risk Management Education blog, http://agrisk.umd.edu.
And, as always, if you would like to speak with one of our Legal Specialists, please do not hesitate to call our information line.
The number is 410-706-7377. Although we can’t give legal advice, we can provide information about the law and we can help you find an attorney in your area.
Another way to reach us is to e-mail our legal specialists at email@example.com.
We always monitor our e-mail and we will respond to your messages.
(Writer’s note: This column should not be interpreted as legal or financial advice for the reader.)
1-800-634-5021 410-822-3965 Fax- 410-822-5068
P.O. Box 2026 Easton, MD 21601-8925