Lawmakers in the House of Representatives this week introduced the Helping America’s Farmers Act. The legislation would create a new economic injury disaster loan program at the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.
Introduced by Representative Jahana Hayes, a Connecticut Democrat and Antonio Delgado, a New York Democrat, the bill is endorsed by the National Milk Producers Federation and Dairy Farmers of America.
The bill would appropriate $10 billion for direct loans through the FSA, along with another $10 billion for a guaranteed loan program through FSA lenders, and $300 million for administrative costs. Under the new loan program, applicants would also be eligible for a $20,000 grant upon application and can seek forgiveness for their loan based on demonstrated economic hardship. Application priority is given to farmers and ranchers located in the areas hit hardest by an economic disaster, as well as minority, veteran and women-owned operations.
Representative Hayes says the legislation will get farmers “the help they so desperately need.”
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)