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Release: USDA Announces Implementation of Equity Work Under the Inflation Reduction Act and Equity Commission Outcomes

March 1, 2023

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Zaks

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition


Release: USDA Announces Implementation of Equity Work Under the Inflation Reduction Act and Equity Commission Outcomes 

Washington, D.C., March 1, 2023 – In a briefing today, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) outlined plans to implement equity-related funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The Department also presented some of the outcomes from the work of its Equity Commission.

Under Section 22007 of the IRA, USDA must provide financial assistance to producers who have faced discrimination in USDA’s farm lending programs. For this process, $2.2 billion have been appropriated. USDA must administer the assistance through qualified nongovernmental partners under standards developed by the Department.

Existing and interested USDA cooperators who would like to work with USDA should reach out to the Department by March 10, 2023, at askusda@usda.gov. Potential cooperators should share their name, contact information of their organization, and any other organizations with which they may like to partner in this work. More information about these efforts can be found at www.usda.gov/equity.

The administrative process will flow through a national administrator and four regional hubs. Regional hubs will interface directly with the organizations who choose to participate in the process. The process for identifying vendors who will run the regional hubs and act as the national administrator opens today, March 1. The Department expects to identify vendors by late spring 2023.

“NSAC is pleased to see USDA working closely with nonprofit and community-based organizations to ensure that needed financial assistance effectively reaches those who most need it,” said Billy Hackett, NSAC Policy Specialist. “We expect that funds will be distributed in an equitable way among those who have experienced discrimination accessing FSA lending services.”

In addition to the implementation of Section 22007, USDA discussed plans to help distressed borrowers. Section 22006 of the IRA included $3.1 billion to make payments to distressed borrowers, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) already paid out $800 million to those who were delinquent as of Sept. 30, 2022. USDA is now in phase 2 of these payments, and today announced an additional $43 million in payments to 4,500 borrowers. USDA is also working with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to provide relief on tax burdens associated with delinquent loans.

Additional announcements on the work of the Equity Commission included a description of the Department’s approach to analyzing the work of county committees on their approach to customer service, to analysis of the function of the Office of Civil Rights, and to how the Department supports farmworkers and their families through the existing nutrition programs.


About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supportingthe long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net

Categories: Press Releases

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