Press "Enter" to skip to content

Inflation Reduction Act Relieving Farm Debt, Absolutely Not Slapping Anyone in the Face

As Republicans sue to stop the Biden Administration from handing out student loan relief, rural Republicans are staying curiously quiet about the Biden Administration’s handing out of farmer loan relief:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that distressed borrowers with qualifying USDA farm loans have already received nearly $800 million in assistance, as part of the $3.1 billion in assistance for distressed farm loan borrowers provided through Section 22006 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

…Work has already started to bring some relief to distressed farmers. As of today, over 13,000 borrowers have already benefited from the resources provided under the Inflation Reduction Act as follows:

  • Approximately 11,000 delinquent direct and guaranteed borrowers had their accounts brought current. USDA also paid the next scheduled annual installment for these direct loan borrowers giving them peace of mind in the near term.
  • Approximately 2,100 borrowers who had their farms foreclosed on and still had remaining debt have had this debt resolved in order to cease debt collections and garnishment relieving that burden that has made getting a fresh start more difficult.

In addition to the automatic assistance already provided, USDA has also outlined steps to administer up to an additional $500 million in payments to benefit the following distressed borrowers:

  • USDA will administer $66 million in separate automatic payments, using COVID-19 pandemic relief funds, to support up to 7,000 direct loan borrowers who used FSA’s disaster-set-aside option during the pandemic to move their scheduled payments to the end of their loans.
  • USDA is also initiating two case-by-case processes to provide additional assistance to farm loan borrowers. Under the first new process, FSA will review and assist with delinquencies from 1,600 complex cases, including cases in which borrowers are facing bankruptcy or foreclosure. The second new process will add a new option using existing direct loan servicing criteria to intervene more quickly and help an estimated 14,000 financially distressed borrowers who request assistance to avoid even becoming delinquent [USDA, press release, 2022.10.18].

Congressman Dusty Johnson said relieving student loan debt was a “slap in the face” to students who had already paid off their loans. Senator John Thune also called student debt relief a “slap in the face“. But neither Johnson nor Thune seem to have complained about this farm dent relief slapping the faces of farmers who have managed to pay off their combines and quarter-sections without government assistance.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-10-23 08:02

    Yep. Republican welfare ranchers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them but real conservatives at the Heritage Foundation have called for subsidy reform for years. Republicans Kristi Noem and Mike Rounds have taken federal handouts amounting to nearly $5 million.

  2. O 2022-10-23 09:49

    I have been trying to understand the pure political calculation of the “slap in the face” stance on student debt. How does this engage more voters than it estranges given the obscene levels of college debt now? The only thing I can think of is that this is mostly younger voter who do not vote. If that is the case, then people in their 20s’ and 30’s need to get in the driver’s seat and vote their interests. Maybe none of the candidates look like you, but it is time to look at which candidates speak for you.

  3. Jake 2022-10-23 11:33

    The “Farming the Government” words became stuck in many people’s minds involved in Ag Country many years ago. And it is a prevalent understanding today that so many Ag people look to the government for themselves but squeal like a pig caught in a fence if they see someone else get the same or different type of welfare. Yes, we might as well use the word “welfare” because the $$$ go to the welfare of the industry affected by the debt cancellation. It then becomes “political fodder” to be fed to the political parties either for or against the concept.
    “Red States”-being more under the political management of Republican “conservatist” thought are more in favor of Ag debt cancellation than student loans. They seem to want the lion’s share of handouts, tax cuts for the wealthy and political donors; rather than making sure benefits are spread equally thru the population.

  4. Edwin Arndt 2022-10-23 13:23

    It was back in the eighties when a certain number of farmers had debt forgiven
    or written down, and those writedowns generated a certain amount of animosity.
    Some comments were as this; well if I thought I could get my loan forgiven or
    written down, maybe I could have bought that piece of land, or that new combine,
    or that pickup for my wife, or built that new shed, and on and on and on.
    Let it suffice to say it was not all smiles and sunshine.

  5. John 2022-10-23 13:49

    Republican hypocrisy abounds. What else is new.
    Governor Ron DeSantis, (R-GQP) says he doesn’t want any undocumented immigrants in Florida . . . yet hundreds, perhaps thousands of undocumented workers flock to rebuild Florida after Hurricane Ian.
    “But after Hurricane Ian inflicted billions of dollars in damage, undocumented workers came to the Sunshine State to rebuild, joining tens of thousands of others who were already here — and who construction managers say are sorely needed.

    Their arrival puts the Republican strongholds that weathered the worst of the storm in an awkward position as they attempt to recover: With low unemployment, a shortage of construction workers and an above-average elderly population, can Florida rebuild without them?

    “We’d like them back,” Nancy Randall, a real estate agent who declined to give her age or political affiliation, said of the immigrants DeSantis had flown to Martha’s Vineyard, after Ian drove four feet of water into her green-shuttered home in Naples, soaking her grandmother’s rocking chair and everything else. “We need all the helpers we can get.””

    Recall the discussion we had on Cory’s site a few weeks ago about the worker shortage, the demographic hole in the US (and South Dakota)? Immigration is the only way to create 20-40 year old employees out of thin air.

    “Construction is one of the biggest employers of undocumented immigrants, with 1.4 million workers across the country filling more than 1 in 10 jobs, researchers say. Nationwide, undocumented immigrants account for 23 percent of construction laborers, 38 percent of drywallers and 32 percent of roofers, according to a report by the nonprofit Center for American Progress last year.” paywall,

    Does one want or need talented employees – then one ought encourage the US government to highly incentivize educated folks from Russia and China to immigrate.

  6. O 2022-10-23 13:59

    Student loan debt and farm debt are small potatoes compared to the (housing) debt that Wall Street crushed the economy with and we the taxpayers ensured that the billionaire investors got repaid for their bad decisions and deceptions.

    Moral outrage seems inversely proportional to the income level of those being bailed out in the US.

  7. Jake 2022-10-23 15:41

    O, you are ‘so right!’

  8. Richard Schriever 2022-10-23 16:41

    The educated are deemed worthy of Republican ire. Imagine that. trump is not the only Republican who loves “the uneducated”, though he may be the only one with the political gall to say it our loud.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2022-10-23 17:49 got that right…we can’t do enough to help the wealthy in their lives of quiet, and opulent, desperation.

  10. O 2022-10-23 18:17

    Arlo, you hit on something that the whole 99%/1% movement could not keep rolling: how do we keep the moral outrage turned up on our elected leaders for empowering this wealth redistribution? We now are at each others throats over $10,000 in debt forgiveness and glossed over the hundreds of millions handed out while people lost their homes and jobs while the nation smashed against the rocks. Then we immediately returned the enablers to congress to repeat the entire process with another round to tax cuts and softening of regulations (stock buyback are obscene) to allow more money grabbing FAR in excess of a pittance of a $10,000 loan forgiveness.

    Even the new inflation reduction measures MUST be targeted at the middle and low income earners to get the economy “under control.”

    All this DEMANDS a better definition of what is the economy of the US and how we define its health. We cannot nip at the edges wile ignoring the rot at the core.

  11. Jake 2022-10-23 18:38

    ‘O’, your comment “The Rot at the Core” of our economy is correct; It definitely is the conservative GOP Republican’s death grip on the straw that will break their party’s back (soon after trump is imprisoned) that we have to tax the wealthy the least – “because they are the job ‘creators’. Another GOP “Big Lie”, really, because most new businesses aren’t started by the wealthy, but by a younger, middle-class or lower person who has an idea and the guts to follow it and work hard. The wealthy are already “too soft” for their own good, but typically, the GOP will try to drag them into their deteriorating ‘big tent’ to make things look good.

  12. larry kurtz 2022-10-24 12:40

    Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) is an organic farmer and a leading voice in the advancement of biochar so Sen. John Thune (Trump-SD) apparently sees Sen. Tester’s vision. Readers who know the ag mags and media can see where rural state Republicans tout their brand of corporate welfare while voting against any money for blue states. The Farm Bill pork is just waiting to be diced and sliced.

  13. Mark Anderson 2022-10-24 15:38

    John your right, DeSantis did say that. On our property we had all of our huge wood mess cleaned up by non-English speakers. Quickly and cheaply. They worked straight through, had to fight off hornets too. Best workers I’ve seen. We put out a table of food for them and thanked them profusely. I believe they took pity on us, watching us, while we were trying to cut down a small tree in two acres of downed trees. The girly voiced shortstop always talks like he’s the centerfielder.

  14. All Mammal 2022-10-24 18:37

    Straight up and down; you guys can dowse cold water on any argument from the cupcake opposition on this. Turn em into soggy sponge cakes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.