FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Manly, National Young Farmers Coalition
firstname.lastname@example.org , 518-643-3564 ext. 722
Washington, D.C. (March 12, 2021) – The National Young Farmers Coalition commends Congress on passing the American Rescue Plan. Signed into law yesterday by President Biden, the next congressional Coronavirus relief package will lead our agricultural system to a more equitable recovery. The $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package includes stimulus payments up to $1,400 per person, and supplemental funding for nutrition programs, debt relief for farmers of color, and additional funding and resources to build infrastructure resilience in the food system.
The Coalition is especially pleased to see the provisions from the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act included in the final American Rescue Plan. Last week, we sent a letter to Senate leadership urging for the inclusion of provisions from the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act in the Senate Covid-19 relief package. The Coalition applauds the bill’s Senate sponsor, Senator Reverend Warnock, and cosponsors Senators Booker, Luján, and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Stabenow for their leadership on this legislation, and House Committee Chairmen Scott and Bishop for their efforts to secure inclusion of this bill in the House package. The Coalition commends all the elected officials who supported this provision in the final Senate and House votes.
“We have seen the challenges resulting from structural racism intensify for farmers of color during the COVID-19 pandemic, ” said Sophie Ackoff, Co-Executive Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition. “Targeted, impactful relief that prevents the loss of BIPOC farm business and begins to address inequitable program implementation at USDA is an absolutely vital part of addressing the challenges of the pandemic and rebuilding our agricultural system for the future.”
Young Farmers looks forward to continuing to work with the Department of Agriculture and other agencies as they implement these relief programs for farmers and communities nationwide.
While the Coalition commends aspects of the American Rescue Plan that will help many continue farming and providing food for their communities, there are still nine million immigrant workers and taxpayers excluded from eligibility for stimulus checks, even as many of these same immigrants are working in essential roles in our food system and beyond. Any future COVID-19 relief bill must ensure that all immigrants are eligible for stimulus checks and have access to health care, regardless of their immigration status, and also must provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship.