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USDA to begin paying off loans of minority farmers in June

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said we cannot sit by and watch food insecurity grow in the...
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said we cannot sit by and watch food insecurity grow in the United States.(WALB)
Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 9:23 AM EDT
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Minority farmers who for decades have faced systemic discrimination will begin to receive debt relief beginning in early June under what Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack calls one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in decades.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced Friday it has published the first notice of funding availability under the American Rescue Plan Act for borrowers with qualifying direct farm loans.

A subsequent notice for farmers with government-guaranteed loans held by private lenders will be published within 120 days.

Vilsack has called the debt relief a “major civil rights victory,” saying it responds to systemic discrimination perpetrated against farmers and ranchers of color by the Agriculture Department.

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