FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2021

CONTACT: press@onecountryproject.org

One Country Project to Congress: Support the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act

Proposed legislation would provide $5 billion to America’s Black, indigenous, Hispanic, and farmers of color who have faced discrimination from USDA and other government agencies

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, One Country Project (OCP) endorsed the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act proposed by Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) that will provide economic relief to Black, indigenous, and Hispanic farmers and other agricultural producers of color to help them respond to the losses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and address discriminatory practices by the USDA and other agencies.

“It is galling that Senate Republicans are attempting to block the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act after supporting billions of dollars in farm aid at the behest of former President Donald Trump,” said Alabama House Minority Leader and OCP Board Member Anthony Daniels. “The farm aid Senate Republicans supported went to the top 1 percent of farm operations, leaving family farmers and farmers of color largely out of the picture. We have the opportunity in the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act to address discriminatory policies. We should seize that opportunity.” 

Today, Black producers represent under 2 percent of American farmers – down from nearly 17 percent in 1920. Black farmers in America have lost more than 12 million acres of farmland over the last century, mostly since the 1950s, according to data from the USDA.

“Senate Republicans were willing to spend over $32 billion on American farmers in 2020 alone in response to former President Trump’s reckless trade wars and self-inflicted tariffs,” said OCP co-founder Heidi Heitkamp. “The Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act would shore up American farmers suffering from the economic downturn of COVID-19 and provide technical assistance to agricultural communities of color. Any Republican Senator who is going to draw the line in the sand at $5 billion to help hardworking farmers who put food on our tables but jumped at the opportunity to underwrite tens of billions in Trump’s irresponsible trade policies that cost American farmers market share cannot call themselves a friend to rural America.”

One Country Project encourages Congress to pass the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act.

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About One Country Project

The One Country Project, led by former Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, is working to promote greater opportunities for rural communities and ensure leaders earn their support. One Country is reengaging with rural Americans, serving as a clearinghouse of research and information for rural Americans, and working to ensure leaders regain trust by fighting for these communities. To learn more, visit the website, OneCountryProject.org.