After years of advocacy and public pressure, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) applauded U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s long-awaited announcement of the first steps to provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners who have previously suffered discrimination with respect to USDA farm lending programs. Following unacceptable delays, USDA is working to distribute the financial assistance by the end of 2023; thanks to Senator Warnock’s tireless advocacy, Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) directs USDA to provide financial assistance to producers who have experienced discrimination in USDA’s farm lending programs, appropriating $2.2 billion for this program.
“I’ve long said that farmers who’ve faced historic discrimination by USDA cannot be an afterthought,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “Today, I’m thinking of farmers in Georgia who’ve survived for decades without the federal support other farmers have enjoyed. I’m going to continue to hold USDA’s feet to the fire on the promises they’ve made, as well as elevate the voices of underrepresented farmers, ensuring they have a seat at the table.”
Senator Warnock has prioritized helping Georgia farmers navigate economic challenges and getting farmers the tools they need to grow and thrive. Senator Warnock fought to secure over $5 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act for farmers in Georgia and across the country, including $3.1 billion for economically-distressed borrowers in addition to the $2.2 billion provision for borrowers who have experienced discrimination by USDA. In October 2022, Senator Warnock announced he already secured over $29 million in funds to help economically-distressed Georgia farmers receive relief for qualifying USDA farm loans. The Senator has also worked to elevate the voices of all farmers and producers through a series of moderated conversations with USDA officials.
Press Release via https://www.warnock.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/following-years-of-advocacy-senator-reverend-warnock-applauds-usda-announcement-to-provide-financial-assistance-to-farmers-who-have-faced-historic-discrimination/