Farm Bill Expands Access to African-American Farmers (Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson)

The CBC fought hard so that in this farm bill, the federal government made strides to redress civil rights abuses against black farmers. That is why this bill created a fund to settle longstanding discrimination claims in which black farmers were owed compensation, but never had the chance to have their day in court.

We also succeeded in ensuring that this farm bill expanded access to programs, credit and farmland for African-American farmers, who have been historically disadvantaged.

The bill increases funding for outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers and instituted reforms so the program will run more efficiently. It expanded opportunities to buy farmland by allowing for grazing and crop production on lands passed from retiring farmers to those just starting out or to socially disadvantaged farmers. This land was formerly off-limits. Finally, it expands access to credit by making socially disadvantaged farmers eligible for new down payment loans and by freezing some interest rates.

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