The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Discrimination Financial Assistance Program (DFAP) provides financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA’s farm lending prior to January 1, 2021
The Louisiana Office of the 2020 Farmers Cooperative is calling for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners across the state to attend sessions scheduled around Louisiana to get free help in applying for funds provided by DFAP.
“I am urging all farmers and ranchers who may think they are eligible or may not know if they are eligible to attend these most important outreach and technical assistance meetings around Louisiana, said Bishop E. Rene’ Soule’,” the 2020 Farmers Co-Op State Program Director for Louisiana.
“This is one of the most significant efforts addressing issues for black, brown, and women farmers and ranchers who may have experienced discrimination in USDA loan processes or even other farmers whose farms may have been distressed due to USDA’s farm lending practices. The assistance is free, and the deadline is coming in January 2024.”
Free application assistance meetings are being held around Louisiana. Those scheduled include: • Monday, December 11th at the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center, 4400 Martin Luther King, Suite A in Natchitoches from 10 am – 6 pm
• Tuesday, December 12th at the Hooter Park (MLK JR) Community Center, 1520 Hooter St in Bossier City from 10 am – 7 pm
• Wednesday, December 13th at the Morning Star Baptist Church, 5340 Jewella Avenue in Shreveport from 10 am – 6 pm
• Thursday, December 14th at the Grambling Economic Development Corporation, 104 Legends Square in Grambling from 10 am – 6 pm
• Saturday, December 16th at Farmersland Church, 8758 Nip Acres Road in Mer Rouge from12 pm – 6 pm Additional meetings are being scheduled for other areas in Louisiana and can be found on the DFAP website.
The Discrimination Financial Assistance Program application deadline is January 13, 2024. This program delivers on Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides financial assistance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs prior to January 2021.
Congress provided a total of $2.2 billion for this program. The amount of money awarded to individuals through this program will depend on the number of eligible applicants and the consequences of the discrimination. Eligible individuals have the option to apply online or by submitting paper-based forms via mail or in-person delivery to local program offices. Applicants are not required to retain an attorney and should take precautions to protect themselves from potential scams.