House Ag Committee holds hearing to address state of black farmers

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says that the USDA has a long history of discrimination.

He appeared before the House Agriculture Committee for a hearing on the state of black farmers. Vilsack says that the history of discrimination is especially well-documented among farm loan programs.

He says that Congress and USDA have tried to address the issues, which impact all socially disadvantaged farmers.

“We will over the next four years do everything we can to root out whatever systemic racism and barriers may exist at the Department of Agriculture directed at black farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, and people who live in persistently poor areas in rural America,” the Secretary stated.

Ranking member G.T. Thompson wondered how USDA leadership was able to “fail so spectacularly” to allow the discrimination for so long. He highlighted recent changes in programs to address the short-comings and says that more work can be done.


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