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Indian Ag Rescue Initiative

Indian ag rescue initiative webinar series 

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) includes over $16 billion for agriculture relief and programs at USDA, that can help support Indian Country agriculture. Please join the IAC for  two webinars as we launch our new Indian Ag Rescue initiative to review the programs and funding that will be available as well as hear from you!

 

PART ONE: Was held Tuesday, April 6th at 1:00 pm MT, we took an in-depth look at:

  • The American Rescue Plan Act’s FSA debt relief, technical assistance, and other programs; and

  • The reopening of CFAP 2 on Monday, April 5th and other related programs.

To view the recorded webinar, click HERE. To view the presentation slides from the webinar, click HERE.

 

PART TWO: Was held Thursday April 8th at 1:00 pm MT, we reviewed:

  • USDA’s new Pandemic Assistance Programs including upcoming funding opportunities; and

  • How you can make your voice heard so these efforts fit your needs as a producer. 

To view the recorded webinar, click HERE. To view the presentation slides from the webinar, click HERE.

The Indian Ag Rescue initiative will work with our partners to provide update-to-date information on what relief is available, how to access it, what questions to ask, and how we can help.

Overview of FSA's CFAP for Livestock Producers
Farm Service agency covid Disaster assistance: DSa & cfap 2.0
American Rescue Plan Act and USDA Agriculture Relief Efforts

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) includes over $16 billion for agriculture relief and programs at USDA, that can help support Tribal governments and Tribal producers. These funds build on existing and new opportunities for relief through USDA. This #IndianAgRescue page created by the IAC and our partners, is a resource for your update-to-date information on what relief is available, how to access it, what questions to ask, and how we can help.

FSA DEBT RELIEF

FSA Loan Debt Relief for “Socially Disadvantaged Producers”

The ARP authorizes payments of 120 percent of socially disadvantaged producers’ FSA farm loans, FSA guaranteed loans, and Commodity Credit Corporation Farm Storage Facility loans as of January 1, 2021. USDA’s definition of “socially disadvantaged” includes Native producers.

 

Status: Still Being Implemented

USDA Resources: 

  • FSA Debt Relief FAQs

    •  Who qualifies for this debt relief?

      • Any socially disadvantaged borrower with direct or guaranteed farm loans as well as Farm Storage Facility Loans qualifies. The American Rescue Plan Act uses the 2501 definition of socially disadvantaged, which includes Black/African American, American Indian or Alaskan native, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian American or Pacific Islander. Gender is not a criteria in and of itself, but of course women are included in these categories.

    • I qualify as socially disadvantaged under the American Rescue Plan definition, but I am not late on my payments. Do I still qualify?

      • Yes. Any socially disadvantaged borrower with direct or guaranteed farm loans as well as Farm Storage Facility Loans qualifies.

    • When will qualified borrowers begin to see a loan pay-off or other payment in response to the American Rescue Plan?

      • USDA is now reviewing and working to gather feedback to implement the Act, and more guidance will be forthcoming for socially disadvantaged borrowers with direct or guaranteed farm loans as well as Farm Storage Facility Loans. For borrowers in arrears, the moratorium established on January 26th to stop all debt collections, foreclosures and evictions for all borrowers, including socially disadvantaged producers, remains in effect.

    • What You Can Do Now

      • Producers who have worked with USDA’s Farm Service Agency previously may have their ethnicity and race on file.  A borrower, including those with guaranteed loans, can contact their local USDA Service Center to verify, update or submit a new ethnicity and race designation using the AD-2047.

Questions and Recommendations:

  • If I have an FSA or guarantee loan payment coming up, should I make my payment?

    • Please reach out to your loan officer or local USDA office with questions about payments. 

    • From FSA Letter to Banks:

      • “ . . . . we are encouraging lenders and borrowers to continue normal loan activities on all loans that are in “current” status. FSA recognizes that the calculation of the payment amount will be based on the outstanding indebtedness as of January 1, 2021, and any subsequent reduction in indebtedness as a result of payments received after that date will not reduce the amount of the payment the borrower receives.”

Technical Assistance Funding, Financial Assistance, and Support for “Socially Disadvantaged Producers

  • Financial assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, or forest landowners that are former farm loan borrowers who suffered related adverse actions or past discrimination or bias.

  • Outreach, mediation, financial training, capacity building training, cooperative development training and support, and other technical assistance on issues concerning food, agriculture, agricultural credit, agricultural extension, rural development, or nutrition to socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, or forest landowners, or other members of socially disadvantaged groups.

  • Grants and loans to improve land access for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, or forest landowners.

  • Funding for agricultural research, education, extension, scholarships, federal pathways internships at the following institutions:

    • 1994 Tribal Colleges and Universities land grants; 

    • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian serving institutions; 

    • 1890 land grants; additional entities serving socially disadvantaged communities.

    • Hispanic-serving institutions; and 

    • Insular area institutions.

  • Establishing one or more equity commissions that will address racial equity issues at USDA.

 

Status: Still Being Implemented

INFRASTRUCTURE RESOURCES 

Emergency pilot program grants for Rural Development

  • Increase capacity for vaccine distribution; provide medical supplies; reimburse for revenue lost during the pandemic, including revenue losses incurred prior to the awarding of the grant; increase telehealth capabilities and health care information systems; construct temporary or permanent structures to provide health care services, including vaccine administration or testing; support staffing needs for vaccine administration or testing; and engage in any other efforts to support rural development determined to be critical to address the COVID–19 pandemic, including nutritional assistance to vulnerable individuals, as approved by the Secretary.

 

Status: Still Being Implemented

 

USDA PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE FOR PRODUCERS

Using new and existing programs, USDA will provide opportunities for producers in several different areas.

CFAP Payments - Coronavirus Food Assistance Program  

USDA is making additional updates and payments under its CFAP 1 and program.

  • An increase in CFAP 1 payment rates for cattle. 

  • Additional CFAP 2 assistance of $20 per acre for producers of eligible flat-rate or price-trigger crops. 

Processing of eligible payments for CFAP 2 Additional Assistance Starting on April 5, 2021 for 60 days.

Immediate action: Visit USDA’s https://www.farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance/cfap and reach out to you local USDA Office

Expanded Help and Assistance to More Producers

These program might not start until later in the Spring, some require rulemaking, here are the areas/programming USDA is identifying:

 

  • Dairy farmers through the Dairy Donation Program or other means:

  • Euthanized livestock and poultry;

  • Biofuels;

  • Specialty crops, beginning farmers, local, urban and organic farms;

  • Costs for organic certification or to continue or add conservation activities

  • Other possible expansion and corrections to CFAP that were not part of today’s announcement such as to support dairy or other livestock producers;

  • Timber harvesting and hauling;

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other protective measures for food and farm workers and specialty crop and seafood producers, processors and distributors;

  • Improving the resilience of the food supply chain, including assistance to meat and poultry operations to facilitate interstate shipment;

  • Developing infrastructure to support donation and distribution of perishable commodities, including food donation and distribution through farm-to-school, restaurants or other community organizations; and 

  • Reducing food waste.

 

Status: Still Being Implemented

 

USDA Resources: