The Native American Agriculture Fund, NAAF, applauded the passage of the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11.
In a news release, NAAF said the American Rescue Plan contains substantial provisions for Native American farmers and ranchers, including $4 billion in debt relief, $1 billion to support a broad array of technical support and $31 billion in spending that will enable Native American and Black producers to begin to repair the harm caused by the impacts of the pandemic but also address long-standing issues related to how the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s programs impact farmers and ranchers of color.
“Indian Country and specifically Native farmers and ranchers, who are the heart and soul of NAAF’s work, have been hit hard by the pandemic. We have needed relief for a long time,” said Janie Hipp, CEO of NAAF and a member of the Chickasaw Nation. “The American Rescue Plan will bring much needed resources to Indian Country to begin the long road of recovery. As we continue to study the ways in which the act can assist our communities, we can begin to see the lights ahead.”
NAAF, the largest philanthropic organization devoted solely to serving the Native American farming and ranching community, provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. For more information, visit: nativeamericanagriculturefund.org.
—by Jonelle Mejica