Fayetteville, Arkansas-The US Department of Agriculture announced it was temporarily suspending debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under programs administered by the Farm Service Agency due to the national public health emergency caused by COVID-19.
“This is an important step that can help alleviate significant levels of stress on the agriculture sector – and more importantly on those who get up every morning to feed the rest of us,” said Janie Hipp (Chickasaw), CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund. “This action will give our nation’s agricultural producers the breathing room they need to continue on in the midst of this global pandemic. Our rural and remote reservation and agricultural communities in Indian Country will rest a little easier because of this important step taken by USDA.”
“In the past, we had to push hard on USDA to consider such actions to help producers,” Hipp continued. “Today, we are seeing USDA proactively take these steps to give folks the breathing room they need to readjust their operations and survive to farm and ranch another day. We look forward to updates in the future and other actions like this to proactively help our nation’s farmers, ranchers and dedicated food champions.”