Vilsack calls out farmers suing to block debt relief for minority farmers – June 17, 2021

Vilsack calls out farmers suing to block debt relief for minority farmers

Lawsuits to block $ 4 billion in loan forgiveness for minority farmers show a lack of historical awareness, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the BIO online convention on Wednesday. “It’s a wonder where those farmers were over the last 100 years, when their Black counterparts were being discriminated against and didn’t hear a peep from white farmers about how unfortunate that circumstance was.”

Logging sabotage incident snags BLM nominee

Republican senators from the West say Tracy Stone-Manning is disqualified from serving as director of the Bureau of Land Management because of her involvement in a logging sabotage episode in 1989. Idaho Sen. James Risch charged on Wednesday that Stone-Manning had “colluded with eco-terrorists.”

Today’s Quick Hits

Vaccination rates inch up: CDC data show that 33.4 percent of rural Americans are fully vaccinated, up 1 percentage point from the previous week, while 41.5 percent of urban residents have completed their vaccinations, up 1.5 points in a week. New England has the highest rural vaccination rates. (Daily Yonder)
Hunger disparities: In Census Bureau survey, 1 in 5 Black or Hispanic adults with children said their household “sometimes” or “often” did not have enough to eat in the previous week, which is double or triple the rate for white or Asian households with children. (U.S. Census)

Address BIPOC needs in farm bill: The Swette Center’s list of 46 recommendations to the Biden administration on organic agriculture include “an entire and comprehensive title of the forthcoming farm bill to BIPOC needs, with land access as a centerpiece.” (Arizona State University)

Cost concerns in China: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during a visit to a key corn-growing province that effective measures should be taken to keep grain prices at reasonable levels and to curb the rising costs of fertilizer, pesticides, and other crop inputs. (Reuters)

Salazar gets the nod: President Biden tapped former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a fifth-generation Colorado rancher, to become U.S. ambassador to Mexico. (White House)

Stopping pigweed with pollen: An Israeli company is working on using sterile pollen — irradiated to destroy its fertility — to slow the spread of invasive Palmer amaranth. (Farm Journal)

America’s Farm Report