March 9, 2021
For More Information contact: Rural Coalition Executive Director Lorette Picciano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-624-8869; Rural Coalition Chairperson John Zippert, at email@example.com or 205-657-0273, or North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers Land Loss Prevention Project Executive Director Savonala Horne, Esq. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-682-5969; or Rudy Arredondo, President, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association at email@example.com or 301-366-8200.
Groups Call for Immediate Implementation of Emergency Relief for Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) Farmers and Ranchers on Final Passage of American Rescue Pla
On behalf of the many organizations who support the groundbreaking Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act, we congratulate Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Ben Ray Luján (D- NM), Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), House Agriculture Chairman David Scott (D-GA) and all others who won inclusion of this historic relief in the final COVID Emergency Budget Reconciliation Package. We urge all members of the US House to vote for final passage of the full package in the US House of Representatives.
“After decades of inequitable treatment by USDA, this bill is a critical step to mitigating years of discrimination, neglect and limited services by USDA that have been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Rural Coalition Chairperson John Zippert. “We strongly urge all members of the US House to quickly complete final passage of the full Emergency Budget Reconciliation Package which is critical for all rural communities. And we urge the US Department of Agriculture to work swiftly to speed the debt relief and targeted technical assistance that this nation’s Black, Indigenous and People of Color producers intensely need in the face of this pandemic.”
Rudy Arredondo, President of the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association noted that “We are glad to see that this Congress, with a long history of providing generous debt and disaster relief to the agriculture sector has finally opened the door to the farmers who did not benefit from the kinds of federal assistance other producers received and require to survive. At long last, this nation will extend the relief this diverse sector of producers deserves to support their families, contribute to their communities and transfer farmland and the farming vocation to future generations.”
“This emergency assistance for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) farmers is a long time in coming. Passage of this omnibus bill will finally provide relief on the scale needed to address the cumulative impact of continuing discrimination and reverse the persistent decline of BIPOC farmers and the disruption of their local food economies, said Savonala Horne, Esq., director of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers Land Loss Prevention Project. “This well-timed relief also benefits rural communities burdened by the COVID-19 Pandemic. We stand ready to work with Secretary Vilsack and the USDA to swiftly and wisely implement these programs in a manner that speeds relief and constructs the support structure needed to ensure success.”
“The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signifies an important first step in addressing the invisibility and interminable racism experienced by black farmers and other underrepresented farmers. Although many black farmers and landowners are now prematurely deceased or no longer viable farmers, many black families across our nation still have hope that their children and grandchildren will become successful landowners, farmers, entrepreneurs, and more,” stated Gary R. Redding, chairperson of the Concerned Citizens of Tillery. “The Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, a member of the Rural Coalition and led by Gary R. Grant, hope that the Act’s debt relief funds, grants, education and training, and other forms of assistance will not be undermined and weakened like the New Deal Farm Project of the 1930s. Many of the children and grandchildren of black farmers are still paying for debts that were created by racism at USDA. We will continue to be united for the survival and viability of black farmers and other underrepresented farmers.”
The Rural Coalition, born of the civil rights and anti-poverty rural movements, has worked for 30 years to assure that diverse organizations from all regions, racial, and ethnic groups and by gender have the opportunity to work in solidarity on the issues that affect them all. The foundation of this work is strong local, regional and national organizations that work to assure the representation and involvement of every sector of this diverse fabric of rural peoples. To learn more visit: http://ruralco.org