Inflation Reduction Act Rewrites Embattled Black Farmer Relief Program

WASHINGTON — A $4 billion program to help Black and other “socially disadvantaged” farmers that never got off the ground last year amid legal objections will be replaced with a plan to make relief funds available to farmers who have faced discrimination.

The changes, which are tucked into the climate and tax legislation that is known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, are drawing backlash from the farmers whom the original debt relief program, part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan of 2021, was intended to help. The new program is the latest twist in an 18-month stretch that has underscored the challenges facing the Biden administration’s attempts to make racial equity a centerpiece of its economic agenda.

Black farmers have been in limbo for months, not knowing if the debt relief they were promised would be granted. Many invested in new equipment after applying last year for money to help defray their debt. Some received foreclosure notices from the Department…

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This article was written by Alan Rappeport and originally published on