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FAQs on American Rescue Plan Debt Relief for Socially Disadvantaged Borrowers

Posted by Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator, Farm Service Agency in Farming
Apr 16, 2021
A person holding a vegetable at a farm
A person holding a vegetable at a farm.

Earlier this week, we posted important information about the American Rescue Plan debt relief payments for socially disadvantaged producers. The American Rescue Plan includes provisions for USDA to pay up to 120% of loan balances, as of January 1, 2021, for Farm Service Agency (FSA) Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loans and Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL).

If you are a Black, Native American/Alaskan Native, Asian American or Pacific Islander, or are of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, with one of the loans listed above, you are eligible for the loan payment. FSA is working hard to ensure that we provide this relief as expeditiously as possible to those who qualify. As a producer myself, I understand the importance of being able to plan finances accordingly. That’s why I encourage you look at our frequently asked questions at www.farmers.gov/americanrescueplan/arp-faq to learn more about the process and how to prepare. And please check back periodically at www.farmers.gov/americanrescueplan for updates. In the meantime, USDA and FSA will continue to do outreach to the socially disadvantaged producer community to ensure you have accurate, timely information.

When the time comes, there will be no application fee, and the FSA is making plans to do any necessary paperwork on your behalf. We understand that there are community-based organizations that you trust to assist you with USDA activities. Our FAQs provide guidance on working with trusted organizations. My goal as Administrator of FSA is to build and earn that same trust.

Our frequently asked questions also give guidance to eligible borrowers who may be uncertain of their demographic designation on file with FSA. If this applies to you, I encourage you to call your local Service Center to verify your classification on record. If an update or correction is needed, you may either fill out an AD-2047 form (PDF, 234 KB) and return it to your local service center or call them to update your record, including race and ethnicity. Find your local Service Center at farmers.gov/service-locator.

If you have questions, we’ve developed a list of those that we’re getting most often, and if yours isn’t answered, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

For our friends in the lending community, your cooperation, commitment to our shared customers, and patience as we navigate this process is greatly appreciated. We value our partnership. If you have questions about the process as it applies to your institution, please reach out to your FSA contacts.

For the rest of our stakeholders, the Farm Service Agency is open for business and delivering programs and services to all producers at an historic pace; all the while taking every precaution to help us turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic and get our lives and our economy back on track.

The Farm Service Agency is at your service and we look forward to providing updates on this important topic. Please continue to watch www.farmers.gov/americanrescueplan for more.

Category/Topic: Farming

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Comments

Anthony Herring
May 02, 2021

The American Rescue Plan will help so many disadvantaged farmers. It is wise to remember that ever class and race of people deserve better , particularly a class and race of people that were poor when they took a FSA USDA loan, and are poor and injured even more with Covid19 pandemic raging through the world. Thanks to President Biden and his Administration the focus is truly about help and this is not a hand out, it is a truth and a fact that asian, native americans,black, are at a disadvantage in most of life activities in the persuit of the right work, the right dream, the right and just life, it is not too little, nor is it to late, it is never too late too have the capacity to breathe a little bit better. We must continue to transform our minds, our hearts, and our souls, so too , The American Rescue Plan might be the lift that the world will be able to observe, that domesticly and on foreign soil, that the United States sowed good seed, in the right climate of the USA, in the right time of the the USA government in crisis mode, we are able to do all things of GOD, transforming the mountains and hills of our thinking, with the right measure of love thy neighbor in mind.

Erick Vertein
May 25, 2021

As a young Mexican farmer that purchased his first piece of land last year, I am very excited to see the American Rescue Plan helping many disadvantaged farmers! I appreciate the focus and emphasis on folks that are at a disadvantage and the desire to help many people get excited about farming! It can be very intimidating to become a farmer in a predominately and historically white part of the country. Unfortunately, I did not get an FSA Loan. I went with a local financial institution and was advised to get a conventional land loan for the farm property. It can be a complicated process getting the resources to purchase land and navigating the different loan options. Sometimes it can be easier to go with a local financial institution that you trust than to seek options through government sponsored programs.
But this is an opportunity to not only build up the disadvantaged farmer community, but also to build a stronger relationship between the disadvantaged farmers and the USDA. I hope that the USDA will choose to be inclusive of all underrepresented farmers. Even the farmers that do not have loans through the FSA and allow all of us to take advantage of the American Rescue Plan. Every dollar makes a large impact!

Lu E.
Jul 15, 2021

Let me just say that the ARP is the best thing that has happened in terms of legislation for minority and disadvantaged farmers in the last few decades or in my life time, any ways. This program will provide long overdue relief to so many that really need it and will benefit from it. It will be a breath of fresh air for the so many times neglected farming families in minority groups. As a Hispanic small farmer, I myself would see such a huge benefit out of this program that would allow me to concentrate on the work I really love, which is farming, instead to having to work outside the farm in order to make ends meet. Farming, especially small scale farming as most disadvantaged farmers are involved in is a labor of love more than anything and it is hard work and deserves to be recognized and supported by our government and nation.
So, thank you to all those fighting for us, minority and disadvantaged farmers through government, non-governmental and grassroots organizations. The fight must continue till we get the recognition and support we deserve to have in this great nation where we live and are trying to build a better live for ourselves and our families.