Dear Farmer and Food Advocacy Co-Signers,
We at the National Young Farmers Coalition would like to send a note of appreciation for your support as one of the more than 200 organizations that called on President Biden to extend the student loan payment pause and protect debt relief on behalf of student borrowers! Our success came with the November 22, 2022 announcement from the Biden-Harris Administration that the payment pause would be extended through June 30, 2023, or until 60 days after a final disposition of the lawsuits currently blocking student debt relief–whichever is sooner.
As we wrote in a blog post published in October, young and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) farmers need student debt relief. Thirty-eight percent of young farmers who took our 2022 National Young Farmer Survey reported having student loan debt. The student debt burden is much higher for BIPOC farmers, particularly Black young farmers: 62% of Black young farmers reported having student loan debt, compared to only 36% of white young farmers.
For many of our next generation farmer members, carrying student debt means postponing key life events, such as homeownership, land ownership, and marriage. Student debt can also prevent farmers from qualifying for additional financing needed to launch their businesses: 20% of young farmers said they did not take out additional loans to support or grow their farm businesses because of existing student debt.
We’re excited to see so many of our partner organizations join us in calling on the Administration to protect this long fought for debt relief program. I hope we can call upon you, in times when other intersectional issues come forward, for your continued help in the fight for a bright and just future for young farmers. We remain inspired by and committed to furthering and strengthening our work together!
National Young Farmers Coalition
Farmer and Food Advocacy Co-Signers
Agricultural Justice Project
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Inc.
Community Food and Justice Coalition
HEAL Food Alliance
The Common Market
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
Farm to Table – New Mexico
Farmers On the Move
Fertile Ground Institute
Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Iowa CCI (Citizens for Community Improvement)
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Michigan Food and Farming Systems
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts (NOFA/Mass)
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH)
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides
Rural Advancement Fund of the National Sharecroppers Fund, Inc.
Texas Coalition of Rural Landowners
The Farmworker Association of Florida
The Land Connection
Virginia Poverty Law Center
West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition