Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is in South Carolina today. That follows a weekend visit to Georgia. This trip is highlighting USDA’s plan to pay off up to $4 billion in debt to minority and socially disadvantaged farmers. Through the American Rescue Plan, USDA will pay an additional 20 percent of the loan. “These farmers, once the debts are paid off, will have a tax liability and the 20 percent is designed to pay that tax.” These payments will start going out in June. In an op-ed in USA Today, Vilsack said most farm programs are based on the size of an operation and the history of its production. In his words, the system is “stacked against farmers of color.”
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