|On Wednesday, September 15, 2022, Dr. John W. Boyd, Jr, Founder and President of the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA), met with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. During this meeting, they discussed an all inclusive presidential farm moratorium and expediting the debt relief and financial assistance in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) signed into law by President Biden on August 16, 2022.|
During this meeting, Boyd discussed the lack of clarity in IRA Sections 22006 and 22007 and shared his concerns with Senator Schumer on USDA’s distribution of the newly created Discrimination Fund. Senator Schumer assured Boyd that he will work with Senators Booker and Warnock to get answers and relief to distressed farmers expeditiously while seeking a remedy to the farm foreclosure moratorium to include not only direct borrowers at USDA but also private lenders with FSA-guaranteed loans and other agricultural loans. John Boyd and the NBFA will meet with Schumer and others within the coming weeks to ensure farmers’ rights are protected. “We cannot afford to lose another Black farmer to farm foreclosure while USDA drags its feet,” Boyd concluded.
Just last year, Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Section 1005 providing 120% debt relief for Farmers of Color. White farmers quickly sued in 12 different federal courts claiming “reverse discrimination” and blocked the payments. To address the court delays, the Biden Administration in the IRA implemented Section 22006 to provide relief for economically distressed borrowers, Section 22007 to create a $2.2B Discrimination Fund, and Section 22008 to repeal ARPA Section 1005. IRA Section 22006 provides $3.1 billion for economically distressed farmers with direct and guaranteed loans at USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). IRA Section 22007 provides $2.2B for financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners that experienced discrimination prior to January 1, 2021. Since the bill’s passage, hundreds of farmers have reached out to the NBFA looking for answers, advice, and applications. “The only response the NBFA can give these farmers is that the process is not clear. We have more questions than answers,” Boyd said.
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