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USDA Micro Farm Eligibility Self-Assessment Tool

USDA Micro Farm Insurance Eligibility Tool

Welcome to The Carrot Project’s USDA Micro Farm Eligibility Self-Assessment Tool! This tool is designed to help you determine your eligibility for USDA’s newest insurance program.  

What is Micro Farm insurance? This is a new insurance program available from the USDA, made specifically for small-scale, diversified growers making up to $350,000 annually. Micro Farm insurance is a way to protect your farm against the unexpected by protecting farm revenue (including revenue from post-production processing and value-added products) from losses in income. For example, if you’re insured for $100,000, and you only make $30,000 during the year, you could receive a claim payment of $70,000 to recover the difference.

This self-assessment tool should take less than five minutes to get through (it’s just eight questions long) and provides general guidance. Please use the Next and Back buttons on the bottom of the screen, and not the Back button on your browser. You do not need to share any personally identifying information to use this tool. Any information that you do wish to share will be kept confidential.

If you have any questions or need assistance using this tool, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Amanda Chang, Outreach Coordinator at The Carrot Project, at achang@thecarrotproject.org or at 617-674-2371 x 10.  

Now, let’s get started!
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This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2021-70027-34693.
 
1. Are you currently a farmer or rancher (crops, livestock, honeybees, or aquaculture)?  
Micro Farm insurance is an insurance program for people currently farming. If you are not currently farming, you are not eligible for this insurance program.  
How many years have you been the operator of the farm? A farm operator is a person who runs the farm, making day-to-day management decisions. This is different from your total years of farming experience. 
If you have less than ten years of being a farm operator, you can qualify as a Beginning Farmer and be eligible for additional benefits.   
Are you already enrolled in other federal crop insurance programs? This does NOT include enrollment in USDA Farm Service Agency’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).  
If you are already enrolled in other federal crop insurance programs, unfortunately you are not eligible for Micro Farm insurance. Micro Farm insurance is specifically designed for farmers who are not insured by any other crop insurance programs.  

However, you may be eligible for USDA’s Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance program instead!  To learn more, here is a link to the WFRP fact sheet. You can also contact The Carrot Project staff for more information.
 
How much gross revenue did you make from your farm or ranch in the past year? This revenue can include revenue from market readiness and post-production a.k.a. value-added products (canning, freezing, drying, jams, jellies, pies, cider, etc.) but cannot include revenue from sales of non-farm products (tote bags, water bottles, souvenirs, books, etc.).
If your approved gross revenue was more than $350,000, unfortunately you are not eligible for Micro Farm insurance. You may be eligible for USDA’s Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance though! For more information, here is a link to the WFRP fact sheet. You can also contact The Carrot Project staff for more information. 
How much of this revenue was from the resale of farm products purchased from another farm?
If the resale of farm products purchased from another farm makes up more than 50% of your gross revenue, unfortunately you are not eligible for Micro Farm insurance.
How many years have you filed a schedule F tax form for your farm?
If you have not filed a schedule F, but have filed other federal income forms for three or more years, you are eligible for Micro Farm insurance. You will need to work with your insurance provider to complete Substitute Schedule F tax forms based on the information in your filed tax forms.
If you have never filed, or have filed a schedule F or other tax form for less than three years, unfortunately, you are not currently eligible to apply. For the 2023 policy year, tax forms from 2020, 2021, and 2022 are required in order to be eligible for Micro Farm insurance.  

Filing farm taxes is necessary in order to access many USDA programs. If you need support filing farm taxes, here are two resources to check out: http://ruraltax.org/ and https://www.farmers.gov/working-with-us/taxes
 
If your farm business is tax exempt, you may be eligible for Micro Farm insurance if you are able to provide acceptable financial records to complete a Substitute Schedule F tax form for at least the past three years.
Are you a U.S. Citizen, a non-citizen national (for example, American Samoa), or a documented/legal, permanent resident (for example, Green Card, asylee, refugee)?
This program is a federal program administered by USDA and is currently available only to U.S. Citizens, non-citizen nationals, or legal, permanent residents. Unfortunately, this means you are not eligible to apply for Micro Farm insurance.  
Last question! Are you growing or raising anything prohibited by federal law (Example: cannabis (industrial hemp is allowed), raising endangered species, etc.)?
As this is a federal program, USDA cannot fund any farm operations for products that are controlled or prohibited by federal law. Unfortunately, if you are growing or raising anything controlled or prohibited by federal law, you are not eligible to apply for Micro Farm insurance.