‘Most of the time, it doesn’t work out’: Black farmers wait for debt relief as white counterparts sue

Reginald Stewart Sr., 57, began farming as a teenager in Pembroke Township, believed to be an Illinois stop on the Underground Railroad. But, throughout his life, he said, he’s faced hurdles to receiving the federal aid that many of his white counterparts have enjoyed. “As a Black farmer myself, I've come to find out that it’s easier to give up, it's easier to let somebody else do it, it’s easier not to stay focused,” he said, “because we find that there is no representation for us.”

For decades, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s discriminatory practices and policies have disproportionately disadvantaged Black farmers, according to government reports. Hoping to address the situation, the USDA announced earlier this year debt relief payments to these farmers that were supposed to start in June. But white farmers have sued to stop the money’s distribution.

The Biden administration has defended some of former President Trump’s pesticide decisions

Although President Joe Biden has promised to limit people’s exposure to “dangerous chemicals and pesticides,” his administration has defended several actions by the Trump administration that generally deregulated pesticides.

But months into the new presidency, the Biden administration has chosen to defend some of the Trump administration’s decisions on pesticides.

Seresto pet collars under EPA review, but the fight over their safety could take years

More than a decade ago, nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council petitioned the EPA to ban the use of a pesticide called tetrachlorvinphos in pet products like flea and tick collars. The organization cited studies showing that the chemical, a possible carcinogen, had been linked to brain and nerve damage in children.

Secret Subsidies: Payments to farms allowed to stretch far beyond rural America

Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are directed each year to the country’s farms to help keep agriculture afloat when times get tough. But the federal government is sending millions of these subsidy dollars in the names of people who live and work hundreds of miles from the farms that get the money.

After 20 years of advocacy, Black farmers finally get debt relief

Congress could pass as early as today one of the most sweeping relief programs for minority farmers in the nation’s history, through a provision of President Biden’s pandemic stimulus bill. Although the landmark legislation, which would cancel $4 billion worth of debt, seemed to emerge out of nowhere, it actually is the result of more than 20 years of organizing by Black farmers.