For 55 years, the Federation has worked to improve stability for Black Farmers, landowners, cooperatives and rural communities all over the South.
Black farmers & landowners join the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund on Thursday @ Noon EST for an Inflation Reduction Act Section 22007 update regarding Assistance for Producers Who Experienced Discrimination in USDAloans.com Farm Loan Programs
Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides $2.2 billion in financial assistance for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA’s farm lending programs prior to January 1, 2021. Distribution of these funds is one step in the long march towards justice and an inclusive, equitable USDA. The program complements other assistance made possible through the IRA, including assistance for distressed borrowers.
INFLATION REDUCTION ACT
Co-hosted by SAFSF the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF), and the Funders for Regenerative Agriculture (FORA) for Funder Policy Briefing: Climate Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. The Senate just passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Here is a brief rundown on what it would mean for agriculture conservation and debt relief for distressed farmers.
With USDA conservation programs oversubscribed, this new funding would go a long way in helping more farmers and ranchers across the country implement conservation practices that make their lands more resilient to the changing climate. In addition, the provision in the American Rescue Plan for debt relief for farmers, who have faced historic discrimination in accessing federal resources, has been tied up in the courts.
The IRA replaces that provision with similar but looser language, so proper implementation of this provision will be critical. During this funder policy briefing, you will hear from leading policy experts about what this bill means for climate change, agriculture, conservation, and debt relief for farmers of color. In addition, speakers also touch on what the immediate implementation issues are they will be working on with USDA, as well as what this means for the upcoming farm bill debate.
Ferd Hoefner, Farm, Food and Environment Consulting – Mike Lavender, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Dãnia Davy, Federation of Southern Cooperatives
August 10, 2022
The Federation continues to assist Black farmers who were promised debt relief under the American Rescue Plan Act §1005 Emergency Debt Relief.
On August 16, 2022, President Bident signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) making it the law. While there are many promising programs included in the IRA, unfortunately, the IRA eliminated the Emergency Debt Relief program authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act §1005. The repeal of §1005 resulted in the dismissal of the Miller vs. Vilsack lawsuit which the Federation had successfully intervened in on behalf of Black farmers who were promised debt relief. Regrettably, we will never know how the Court would have interpreted this critically necessary racial equity program.
Although the debt relief lawsuit has been dismissed, the Federation is continuing to work with partners including Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights to advocate for Black farmers who were promised debt relief. Additionally, our Advocacy Institute member-farmers and staff are working with USDA leadership and members of Congress to promote a series of recommendations to ensure that Black farmers are not left out of these historic funding opportunities.
If you are interested in supporting the Federation’s Advocacy Institute in making these recommendations, please contact Dãnia Davy, Esq., Director of Land Retention & Advocacy at email@example.com or 404-765-0991.
March 24, 2022
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives in Austin TX at the headquarters of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) supporting and helping to develop a cooperative of 400+ oystermen and oyster women as they fight against economic injustice.
TPWD has been implementing steps to close the bays they fish without consideration or input from the mostly Hispanic community of fisher-folk.
As a result of the demonstrations and over 4 hours of public comment last week from the fisher-folk, senators, public officials, and the Federation TPWD declined to close the bays at this time.
Click below to listen to the public comment from the Federation's Terence Courtney, Director of Cooperatives and Strategic Development, in support of the oystermen and oyster women.
FEDERATION ADVOCACY INSTITUTE
The Federation Advocacy Institute will help Black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives to advocate for policies and programs that fit their unique needs. Thereby, strengthening the impact of our advocacy work as informed by members' personal experiences.
The Federation's Advocacy Institute is currently recruiting Federation members who would like to improve their Advocacy skills.
Member-advocates will receive training in (i) developing an advocacy agenda, (ii) grassroots organizing, (iii) building rapport with elected officials, (iv) storytelling for an advocacy audience, (v) how to participate in visits to educate legislators, and (vi) how to testify in front of the membership of an elected body.
The cost of any travel for training or advocacy events will be covered and member advocates will receive a stipend for their participation.
70 members will be able to participate this year.
Enrollment is on a first come first serve basis.
PIGFORD RESEARCH PROJECT
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund and The Institute for Economic and Racial Equity at Brandeis University are thrilled to announce a partnership (January 2022). Our organizations will be communicating with Black farmers and their descendants across the nation to understand better the impact of the Black farmer lawsuits, Pigford v. Glickman and In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation. This project will be the first nationwide effort to understand the impact that these historic cases had on farmers and their families.
We will investigate the experiences of Pigford claimants during and after the case, with an eye toward policy and narrative today. The past two years have seen multiple legislative attempts to foster equity in agriculture, including the Justice for Black Farmers Act and Section 1005 of the American Rescue Plan – Emergency Debt Relief for Farmers and Ranchers of Color, which conservative legal foundations with the face of white farmers are currently challenging in the court. This research focused on the experiences and voices of Black farmers will lend clarity and urgency to the problems these policies are meant to address. Beyond agricultural policy, our teams believe that the Pigford cases offer insight into policies around cash transfers and reparations, as well as the way that harmful narratives affect marginalized communities.