Saturday, April 1, 2023

USDA Announces Additional Assistance for Distressed Farmers Facing Financial Risk


Policy Brief and Updates



“The Markup” is IAC’s policy brief update to keep Indian Country in the loop on what is going on in the Washington, D.C. beltway. A “markup” is a congressional committee meeting to offer changes, amendments, and debate legislation. We hope the information in the IAC Markup policy brief will provide the same opportunity for knowledge sharing and involvement in the process. We will be sending out the IAC Markup on a biweekly basis.



News & Updates


USDA Announces Additional Assistance for Distressed Farmers Facing Financial Risk


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that beginning in April, it will provide approximately $123 million in additional, automatic financial assistance for qualifying farm loan program borrowers who are facing financial risk as part of the $3.1 billion to help distressed farm loan borrowers that was provided through Section 22006 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).


FSA intends to provide a new round of relief that will include approximately $123 million in automatic financial assistance for qualifying Farm Loan Program (FLP) direct loan borrowers who meet certain criteria. Similar to the automatic payments announced in October 2022, qualifying borrowers will receive an individual letter detailing the assistance as payments are made.


Click here for the full announcement and more information.




Legislative Tracking


Bills introduced in the past two weeks that could affect Tribes and Tribal producers:


S.900 - A bill to amend the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to establish a competitive grant program under which the Secretary of Agriculture provides grants to land-grant colleges and universities to support agricultural producers in adopting conservation and innovative climate practices, and for other purposes.

Introduced: 03/21/2023

Sponsor: Sen. Young, Todd [R-IN]

Cosponsors: Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN], Sen. Braun, Mike [R-IN], Sen. Schatz, Brian [D-HI]


S.901 - A bill to amend the Animal Health Protection Act to improve the prevention of the spread of animal diseases, and for other purposes.

Introduced: 03/21/2023

Sponsor: Sen. Braun, Mike [R-IN]

Cosponsors: Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN], Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE], Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS]




Federal Register Notices


Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Advisory Committee


Public Meeting on April 4-6, 2023, from 8:00-5:00 am MT

Summary: The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on the selection of collaborative forest landscape restoration proposals. The meeting agendas will include:


1. Evaluate 2023 Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) proposals and provide recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on proposal selection for funding; and


2. Development of CFLRP future process recommendations.


The meetings are open to the public and will be held at the Cesar Chavez Memorial Building, Room 221, 1244 Speer Boulevard, Denver, Colorado 80204. The public may also join virtually via telephone and/or video conference. Virtual meeting participation details can be found on the website


Find more information here.




Seeking Nominations for the Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers


All nomination packages received by April 24 will be considered. 


The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE) is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers (“Advisory Committee”). The Advisory Committee consists of 15 members who are expected to serve a 2-year term and may be reappointed for an additional two terms. Advisory Committee members will represent historically underserved farmers and farming communities and should also reflect the diversity of agriculture in geography, size, scale, and type of production.


Find more information here.




On the Calendar


The House and Senate Agriculture, Natural Resource Committees, among others, hosted a number of hearings over the past two weeks. Click on the links below to view the event recordings. 


Senate Appropriations Committee


Senate Agriculture Committee


Senate Committee on Indian Affairs


House Agriculture Committee


House Appropriations Committee




Upcoming hearings, business meetings and events to look out for include: 


On Tuesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 20, the BIA will be hosting online Tribal Consultations regarding the $2 million in Land Acquisition Funding appropriated to the Bureau. The land acquisition effort is intended to foster and restore lands to new and landless Tribes, at Regional authority levels, for the development of conservation practices, law enforcement, applicable regulatory policies, sustainable Tribal communities and economic development. For more information, click here.




IAC First Annual MPPTA Fly-in


This week, IAC hosted the first IAC Tribal Meat Processing Tour & Training Fly-In event! The event brought an exceptional opportunity to learn about many key aspects of Tribal meat processing infrastructure development and expansion from nationally renowned experts and examples. The event contained tours for attendees that provided firsthand exposure to the Tribally-run processing plant infrastructure, operations, and staff. 


To learn more about IAC’s Meat & Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance work, visit here. 




Farm Bill 2023: On the Hill


Committee Farm Bill Feedback Forms to Input Your Priorities


House Agriculture Committee: 

Senate Agriculture Committee:




The Native Farm Bill Coalition is holding a series of fly-ins to Washington, D.C., for Tribal leaders and Native producers to meet directly with members of Congress, their staff, and the Biden Administration. The dates for 2023 Farm Bill fly-ins are as follows: 


  • April 18-20 – Northwest Tribes (confirmed)
  • April 25-27 – Eastern Tribes (confirmed)
  • May 9-10 – Indian Country in conjunction with the Native American Food Fair (confirmed) 
  • May 16-18 – Southwest Tribes and Navajo Region (tentative)
  • June 20-22 – Alaska Tribes (tentative)


For more information, visit the NFBC website.




Native American Food Fair on Capitol Hill


Join the NFBC for the first-ever Native American Food Fair on Capitol Hill at the National Museum of the American Indian on May 11. This event aims to bring attention to Indian Country’s agricultural importance and will feature food from Native producers throughout Indian Country, prepared by Native chefs. The event will also serve as a backdrop to educate Congress on the Coalition’s policy priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill.





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