‘Not what it was sold to be’: why promised debt relief will affect hardly any Black farmers

Native Americans make up half of farmers eligible for USDA loan forgiveness while only a few thousand Black farmers are. But it’s likely no one will get relief soon

Black farmers throughout the south call Cornelius Blanding daily to ask when the money might come from the US Department of Agriculture. Updates aren’t coming any other way.

Blanding and his staff at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives do their best to stay on top of a federal debt relief program that should have started to pay farmers in June. They field calls and answer questions with limited information from the USDA, knowing only that a small percentage of Black farmers, and an even smaller percentage of the cooperatives’ membership, are eligible.

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