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USDA Announces Plan for Black Farmer Payments

The USDA says it plans to make debt relief available to Black farmers. The announcement came one day before Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack participated in a roundtable discussion with Black farmers in Georgia.

A spokesman says Vilsack will be traveling to other states to discuss the plan in the weeks ahead. Late last week, the Farm Service Agency published the first notice of funding availability for loan payments for eligible borrowers who have qualifying direct farm loans under the American Rescue Plan.

“The Plan has made it possible for USDA to deliver historic debt relief to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers beginning in June,” Vilsack says. “USDA is recommitting itself to gaining the trust and confidence of America’s farmers and ranchers using a new set of tools provided in the American Rescue Plan.”

The Plan authorizes funding and authorization for the FSA to pay up to 120 percent of direct and guaranteed loan with outstanding balances as of January first of 2021.

He says the tools are designed to increase opportunity, advance equity, and address systemic discrimination in USDA programs.

To learn more about the loan payments to socially disadvantaged farmers, go to www.farmers.gov/americanrescueplan.

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