Black and Other Minority Farmers to Start Receiving Loan Forgiveness Payments in June

Rod Bradshaw tries to start an air compressor as he does chores on his farm near Jetmore, Kan., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Bradshaw, who claims to be the last Black farmer in Hodgeman County, is concerned that systemic discrimination by government agencies, farm lenders and the courts have reduced the numbers of Black farmers in the United States from about a million in 1920 to less than 50,000 today. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced it will begin distributing loan forgiveness payments to Black and other minority farmers in June as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Details: Approximately $4 billion of the COVID-19 relief plan has been allocated to help those “who have faced a legacy of financial discrimination,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.

  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the Washington Post that farmers “will get a letter that advises them that their debt is in the process of being paid.” He added that eligible farmers will get an additional 20% of the loan as a cash payment “to cover the tax burden that comes with such large debt relief,” the Post writes.
  • Vilsack added he estimates the program will benefit up to 13,000 Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander farmers.

What he’s saying: “For Black and minority farmers, the American Rescue Plan could represent one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in decades,” Vilsack said in a USA Today op-ed.

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SOURCE: Axios, Oriana Gonzalez