Many of you took action last week to encourage the Senate to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, legislation that will direct critical funding toward climate action and conservation. As the House prepares to consider the Act today, we are calling on Congress to finalize this critically important legislation and send it to the White House for swift enactment and implementation.
If enacted, this bill would invest $3.1 billion in support for Distressed Borrowers with direct or guaranteed Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans, as well as $40 billion for climate smart agriculture.
While the Inflation Reduction Act is not a perfect bill, and not the bill that we would dream up together, we believe that it is our last, best chance this year to secure critical conservation and energy funding necessary to combat climate change. And we believe that the Biden Administration will honor their commitment to advancing racial equity as they implement this new measure if it is enacted.
One of our guiding principles in this work is that policy change is necessary for a radical future. This is a moment of compromise and imperfect action, and at the same time, it is a moment of incremental yet significant progress toward our vision for a “just future where farming is free of racial violence, accessible to communities, oriented towards environmental well-being, and concerned with health over profit.”
We look forward to advocating for the quick and effective implementation of the provisions mentioned above–particularly regarding support for Distressed Borrowers–and for that implementation process to be a product of deep stakeholder engagement.
For more context and perspective on this complicated legislative effort, we invite you to read statements from the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, The Rural Coalition, and National Family Farm Coalition.
We stand in solidarity with our partners in this work, and are committed to securing economic support for young, and particularly BIPOC, farmers in the 2023 Farm Bill–a critical legislative opportunity for policy change and historic investment in facilitating secure, affordable access to land for this new generation of working farmers.
David Howard and Vanessa García Polanco
Policy Campaigns Co-Directors