WASHINGTON — House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Chair Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio sent a letter Thursday to Naomi Earp, current Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on issues related to socially disadvantaged farmers. The letter urges Earp, who awaits Senate confirmation as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, to address USDA’s past, present and future relationship with black farmers and other farmers of color.
Pointing to the continued decline in the number of black farmers reflected in the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Fudge wrote, “This downward trend is alarming as it reflects the residual impact of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) long history of discrimination against black farmers… This prejudice has resulted in loss of land, delays or rejection in farm credit loans, and lack of access to technical assistance for farm programs.”
Fudge went on in the letter to call on Earp to “make helping this shrinking population of farmers a top priority,” and pressed the nominee to outline the plans of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights to address both the USDA’s past civil rights issues, as well as how the Department will improve its relationships with farmers of color in the future.
A copy of the letter is available by clicking here.
–House Agriculture Committee
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