Black and Native American Agriculture Organizations Stand United

Black and Native American Agriculture Organizations Stand United

Dec 8, 2021

Pigford and Keepseagle Cy-Pres Funds come full circle to expand opportunities for agriculture lending to minority farmers through minority coalition work

The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) and Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund (FSC/LAF) announce pursuit of two new Other Financial Institutions (OFI) within the Farm Credit System.

NAAF was established after the settlement of the Keepseagle v. Vilsack class action lawsuit. The original class alleged violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (EEOC) occurred when Native American Farmers and Ranchers attempted to obtain U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans. For those that successfully obtained a USDA loan, it was also alleged that they were victims of poor loan servicing. These discriminatory practices were asserted by other minority farmers. Ultimately, multiple discrimination settlements were reached during the Obama Administration. Despite these efforts, today many minority farmers still lack access to adequate agricultural lending and appropriate loan servicing. While we were encouraged by the efforts made in the Biden Administration to right some of these continual wrongs, we cannot wait or rely on the Federal Government. Instead, NAAF is announcing their efforts to work with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives leadership – as part of its efforts with the Black Farmer Council that was created after the Pigford class action lawsuit – to pursue our respective efforts in establishing two new Other Financial Institutions (OFI) within the Farm Credit System.

Although in separate phases of development, both NAAF and FSC/LAF are working in step to strengthen opportunities for minority agriculture lending. The new OFI NAAF is assisting in standing up will be its own unique entity with separate board members and organizational staff. More information regarding the new Native American OFI and the application process will be available in the summer of 2022.

The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking in the areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services. The charitable trust was created by the settlement of the landmark Keepseagle v. Vilsack class-action lawsuit. NAAF is the largest philanthropic organization devoted solely to serving the Native American farming and ranching community. For more information visit