USDA Assistance to Distressed Farmers

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture dispersing nearly $800 million in assistance to distressed farmers:

“Farmers play a critical role in our economy, and many have been hit hard by recent crises like COVID-19. Thousands of farmers, including Black, Latino, and Native American farmers with USDA direct and guaranteed loans, have struggled to make ends meet and are barely holding on to their farms. Some have already lost their farms to foreclosure…. I applaud the USDA for working to quickly implement this much-needed relief to farmers who are most at-risk of foreclosure or losing their land. I also urge the USDA to continue providing IRA assistance to the many distressed farmers, especially Black farmers, who are still in need of immediate relief.”

The nearly $800 million in assistance announced today is part of the $3.1 billion authorized under Section 22006 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which was signed into law by President Biden in August. This provision authorizes payments to distressed farm loan borrowers, particularly those borrowers whose agricultural operations are at financial risk.

Last month, Senator Booker, along with Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), urged the USDA to rapidly implement the funding authorized under Section 22006 of the IRA. The Senators also urged the USDA to quickly implement Section 22007 of the IRA, which will provide much-needed financial assistance to Black farmers and others who have suffered discrimination through USDA’s farm lending programs.

Senators Booker, Warnock, and Schumer’s letter to the USDA can be found at: booker.senate.gov

The full text of the Inflation Reduction Act can be found at congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5376/text

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