Washington announced additional $550million in funding in order to increase diversity within the agricultural industry.
President Joe Biden’s administration is doling out $550 million for programs to help poor farmers and increase racial diversity in agricultural careers, adding to its previous “equity” outlays for food producers.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced additional funding. It stated that it was aiming to assist “underserved”Producers have access to land, capital, and markets. They can also train. “the next diverse generation of agricultural professionals.”Targets for the spending binge “farmers of color,”Also, people who have skin other than white.
This announcement comes after a failure by the Biden Administration to offer debt forgiveness to non-white farmers via a March 2021 Covid-19 relief law. Federal Judge ruled that any racially-based debt relief is unconstitutionally discriminatory in June 2021.
A $739 billion tax and spending bill that Biden’s Democratic Party pushed through Congress earlier this month enabled the USDA to take another crack at its diversity push, this time using broader language regarding eligibility to avoid court challenges. This effort includes Wednesday’s spending announcement. A new program to reduce debt is also planned by the USDA “economically distressed” farmers – not just those who are non-white – preferably by October, when a Covid-related moratorium on farm foreclosures is scheduled to end.
USDA announced that $300 million would be provided by the USDA for programs to assist struggling producers of agriculture, whether they are veterans or poor. “farmers of color.” Although white farmers aren’t technically excluded from the programs, the agency said it aimed to help “underserved”Previous discrimination against groups
To create opportunities for career growth, the USDA has also allocated $250 million. “minority-serving institutions.”Native American colleges and universities, historically black colleges “certified Hispanic-serving institutions”The program will allow students to apply for grants. Many participants will find jobs with the federal government.
New spending plans “the latest in a series of announcements building momentum around USDA’s historic commitment to root out generations of systemic racism, center equity in decision-making and policymaking,”Foster a “diverse, modern and inclusive workforce,”The agency stated.
Some people are not happy with the fact that the agency had to expand eligibility for subsidies. John Boyd Jr. of Virginia’s Black Farmers Association stated last week to CNN that changes made in the debt relief program were unfair. “Now they’re using very broad language that includes white farmers and other forms of discrimination, including age,”He said. “Instead of getting what we already had in place, we are competing with others now.”