The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress to help America recover from COVID-19, includes $5 billion in farm debt relief for producers who are members of socially disadvantaged groups that have historically been subject to discrimination and underserved by U.S. government programs. Black/African American , American Indian, Alaskan Native, Latinx, Asian American, and Pacific Islander producers who have farm loans through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) or private lenders with FSA guarantees are eligible for relief.
Socially disadvantaged farmers tend to operate smaller and more diversified operations and struggled to receive aid under previous disbursements of coronavirus relief funds, which data suggests went to the largest operations. Additionally, the USDA Census of Agriculture shows that farmers of color continually receive less in federal payments than their White counterparts.
CCOF is happy to see investment in the farming community. Increased support for small-scale, diverse producers, particularly for farmers who have been systematically excluded from funding opportunities in the past, uplifts the entire organic movement.
For more information on the program, read an overview by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.