USDA head Tom Vilsack says as far as he’s concerned, the star of the show if the America farmer and the Department of Ag is going to do what it can to keep those farmers on the land.  And that assistance, he noted, is coming via the Inflation Reduction Act.  


Currently, the USDA carries loans and loan guarantees for roughly 115,000 farm borrowers, who can’t get credit elsewhere.  Vilsack noted that currently, roughly 11,000 clients are 60 days behind on payments.  But thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, the USDA has taken action, making those 11,000 customers current on their loans.  And the Ag Secretary pointed out this is just the beginning.


“We’re taking about roughly $1.3 billion of assistance from the $3.1 billion that was afforded by the Inflation Reduction Act.  It’s going to help roughly 34,000-35,000 borrowers get to a better place.  Provide them peace of mind provide them some level of security and some assurance that they won’t be losing the farm.”


Vilsack said this effort is not just about helping people when they’re between a rock and a hard place.  He said the USDA needs to help producers before they get to that point of no return.


“There are literally thousands of producers out there that are going to be able to breath a little bit easier, they are going to have a lot less stress because of this effort, and they’re going to know the USDA is going to try to work with them, rather than against them.  And I think that’s an important message.”


What does all of this mean for producers that are in the middle of a bankruptcy right now, or recently navigated through a bankruptcy?  Vilsack said the USDA will work with those clients on a case-by-case basis.


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