FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Manly, Communications Director, National Young Farmers Coalition
firstname.lastname@example.org, 518-643-3564 ext. 722
Washington, D.C. (April 7, 2022) The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) applauds President Biden’s decision to extend the pause on student loan payments until August 31st, 2022.
“Most young farmers are starting the growing season with added economic pressure due to inflation, high gas prices, and shortages of agricultural inputs. The burden of restarting student loan payments would exacerbate the challenges young farmers are facing growing food for their communities and our country,” says Sophie Ackoff, Co-Executive Director of Young Farmers.
“We hope the extension is an opportunity for President Biden, Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, and Congress to put forth restorative policy proposals like canceling student debt, and proactive ones like affordable college, free community college, and expansion of the Pell Grant to allow a future generation of young and BIPOC farmers to thrive in agriculture without the burden of student loans,” says Vanessa Garcia Polanco, Policy Campaigns Co-Director at Young Farmers.
The Coalition also calls upon Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack and Members of Congress to further invest and support young and BIPOC farmers when student loans resume. The number of young and BIPOC farmers is on the rise, but as the current generation begins to retire, the best way to ensure that new farmers take their place—or, better yet, expand in numbers—is through student loan cancellation and other grants that can support farmers with additional economic burdens.
Young Farmers supports student loan cancellation: not just for young farmers, but for every student borrower—approximately 45 million people in the United States. The Coalition also understands that BIPOC borrowers are bearing the brunt of the student debt crisis. Student debt is a racial equity issue inhibiting BIPOC borrowers from achieving self-determination and stability, in farming and in other careers.
The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) is a national grassroots network of young farmers changing policy and shifting power to equitably resource the new generation of working farmers. Visit Young Farmers on the web at www.youngfarmers.org, and on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.