NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — We are going in depth and digging into President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan and how part of this massive relief plan benefits disadvantaged farmers.
The plan benefits Black farmers in a way that some experts say hasn't happened with any legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
So, $5 billion of the $1.9 trillion package will be going to farmers. Advocates say this is step towards righting a wrong after a long period of mistreatment of Black farmers from the government and others. Some say it's a form of reparations.
For perspective, here in Tennessee, there were more than 1,400 black farmers, according to a 2017 USDA Survey of Black Farming Producers. This money would provide debt relief and other assistance to help get land, plus grants, training and education.
"There is probably a kid right now living in the intercity that wants to farm but he doesn’t have the resources to farm," farmer Michael Coleman said. "We are here, we just aren’t recognized. I really want to make a career out of this because this is something I love to do."
The average farm operated by a Black farmer has about 100 acres, with the national average coming in at more than four times that, according to the last farm census.