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Sen. Warnock, Ossoff visit Fort Valley for agriculture roundtable with farmers

The senators joined Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at Fort Valley University for discussions with the farmers.

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Fort Valley Saturday, joined by Senators Jon Ossoff, Rev. Raphael Warnock, and Representative Sanford Bishop at Fort Valley State University, for an agriculture roundtable with local farmers on Saturday. 

The Secretary and the Senators led a discussion on the announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to begin loan payments to socially disadvantaged borrowers as directed by the American Rescue Plan Act. 

This includes provisions for USDA to pay up to 120% of loan balances for Farm Service Agency Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loans and Farm Storage Facility Loans to any socially disadvantaged producer who has a qualifying loan with FSA. This includes producers who are one or more of the following: Black/African American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American or Pacific Islander. 

The payment represents the full cost of the loan to include 100% toward loan balances as of January 1, and the 20% reimbursement is available for tax liabilities and other fees associated with payment of the debt. Any payments by borrowers made since January 1 will be reimbursed in full.

The USDA Farm Service Agency published the first notice of funding availability to begin loan payments for eligible borrowers with qualifying direct farm loans under the American Rescue Plan Act Section 1005. 

To learn more about the loan payments to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, visit here


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