Woman with Crate of Vegetables
Food, Farming, and Race
Additional Law & Policy Resources
In collaboration with Shirah Dedman


This webpage is a special joint project undertaken by Susan Schneider and Shirah Dedman with the goal of providing resources on "Food, Farming and Race."  We hope that our resources will include both analysis of the historic and contemporary structural racism that permeates our food system and resources on the transformational changes that are breaking down barriers and building new opportunities. We welcome your suggestions. Please use the Contact Us form.

Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. The Act includes $4 billion in direct relief payments to help socially disadvantaged farmers pay off outstanding USDA farm loan debts and related taxes. It also includes $1.01 billion to support activities at USDA that will root out systemic racism, provide technical and legal assistance to agricultural communities of color, and fund under-resourced programs that will shape the future for farmers and communities of color.

A socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher is a member of a group that has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Section 2501(a) of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 2279(a)).


          Text: Public Law No: 117-2

          Congressional Record: pp. 1265-1665

          USDA Implementation: Fact Sheet


                    Relief bill is most significant legislation for Black farmers since Civil Rights Act, experts say

                    How $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill aims to help Black and socially disadvantaged farmers

                    Minority Farmer Aid Clears Congress in Biden's $1.9 Trillion Bill

         Organization Statements:
                   National Family Farm Coalition

                   National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

                   National Young Farmers Coalition


Agricultural Census Data

          Selected Farm Characteristics by Race of Principal Operator: 2012 and 2007

          Selected Principal Operator Characteristics by Race: 2012 and 2007

          Selected Farm Characteristics by Race: 2012

          Selected Operator Characteristics by Race: 2012


          Minority Producer Highlights:

                    Black Producers (2017)

                    American Indian / Alaska Native Producers (2017)

                    Asian Producers (2017)

                    Hispanic / Latinx Producers (2017)

For a deeper dive into socially disadvantaged farmer groups, please click on the boxes below.






About the Collaborator

FTDG-Director_Shirah Dedman.jpg

Shirah Dedman is an afroecologist, specializing in the environmental analysis of the African-American experience. She is the filmmaker of two widely-released documentaries: Follow the Drinking Gourd and YOU A NOMAD. Follow the Drinking Gourd is a feature documentary that explores the Black food justice movement by connecting slavery, landloss, climate change and food autonomy. YOU A NOMAD is a short documentary that deconstructs the depopulation of African-Americans from cities. She is a former Associate of the Equal Justice Initiative, where she took part in the community education project by speaking about the lynching of her great-grandfather. Shirah is an alum of the LL.M. Program.