Commissioner Nikki Fried Joins USDA Event on US $ 4 Billion Debt Relief Plan for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers / News Releases 2021 / Press Releases / News & Events / Home
Quincy, Florida. – Yesterday, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried joined the US Department of Agriculture’s Assistant Under Secretary for Civil Rights Monica rainge, US Representative Al Lawson, Jr. (FL-5), and others to highlight historic US bailout provisions that provide $ 4 billion in debt relief to socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and producers. They were joined at the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Research and Extension Center in Quincy, Florida by the President of FAMU. Larry Robinson, Ph.D., Dean of FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences Robert Taylor, Ph.D., Chairman of the Gadsden County Commission Brenda Holt, Mayor of Quincy Ronte R. Harrisand about 50 farmers and ranchers in North Florida.
“Over the past century, we have seen an 85% drop in black participation in agriculture, an industry critical to food, science and national security,” said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “The American Rescue Plan is about helping people and raising socially disadvantaged farmers, giving them an equal chance to succeed. Repaying loans from socially disadvantaged producers who are in difficulty helps everyone, does no harm and is the moral right thing to do. If this debt relief helps socially disadvantaged farmers develop their farms and serve their communities, we must accept it, share it and spread this opportunity.
“This is a historic moment – it’s a new day at USDA, and USDA is exploiting new approaches and tools to ensure that civil rights and fairness across USDA are established. , and that we restore trust with socially disadvantaged producers, ”said USDA Assistant Assistant Secretary Monica Rainge. “The American Rescue Plan debt relief program is a major civil rights victory for all socially disadvantaged producers with an eligible loan with USDA.”
Socially disadvantaged: Under section 2501 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act 1990 (FACT Act), also known as the Farm Bill of 1990, PL 101-624, a socially disadvantaged group is defined as a farmer or rancher who is a member of one or more of the following groups whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice due to their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities , 7 USC § 2279 (e). Groups include, but are not limited to: Black / African Americans, American or Alaskan Indians, Hispanics or Latin Americans, and Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders; gender is not a criterion per se, but women are included in these categories.
Debt relief: Section 1005 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes provisions allowing USDA to pay up to 120% of loan balances, effective January 1, 2021, to any socially disadvantaged producer who has an eligible loan. from the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The 120% payment represents the total cost of the loan to include 100% of the loan balance as of January 1, 2021; the 20% portion is available for tax debts and other fees associated with paying the debt. All payments made by borrowers since January 1 will be refunded in full. Eligible direct loan borrowers will begin receiving debt relief letters from the FSA in the mail on an ongoing basis, beginning the week of May 24. The information for secured loan borrowers will be available within 120 days. More information can be found at Farmers.gov/AmericanRescuePlan.
For further assistance, the USDA call center is available at 877-508-8364. Para obtener asistencia adicional, el Centro de llamadas del USDA is available in el 877-508-8364.