Policy Priorities for USDA's First 100 Days

Address the historic racism at USDA by enacting these provisions of the Justice for Black Farmers Act
  • Create Independent Civil Rights Oversight Board
  • Establish a Civil Rights Ombudsman within OASCR to assist individuals in navigating the complaint process.
  • Prohibit the Office of General Counsel from interfering in civil rights complaints brought against the Secretary.
  • Establish an Equity Commission – Review all programs within USDA to understand barriers
  • Collect lending data on race – approvals, and denials
Improve credit access for historically underserved farmers and ranchers 
  • Work to eliminate credit deserts for Indigenous farmers
  • Reform FSA programs to allow farmers to plan and invest beyond the 7-year limit with an emphasis on providing for practices that protect the environment
  • Authorize the CFPB to investigate claims of discrimination by FCS institutions
Place a high priority on antitrust enforcement 
  • Elevate the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to undersecretary level
  • Reinstate the 2010 Farmer Fair Practices Rules by Executive Order or rulemaking
  • Adopt all of the recommendations set out in the GAO report, Additional Data Analysis Could Enhance Monitoring of U.S. Cattle Market, to include requiring AMS to share market data with the Packers and Stockyards administration
  • Revoke line speed waivers and proposed rule change to increase max line speeds by 25%; revoke self-inspection waivers
  • Collaborate with DOJ on a full antitrust review of the largest meatpackers
Create transparency and fairness in labeling 
  • Enact and enforce Country of Origin Labeling standards through FSIS and Made in U.S.A standards through FTC
  • Reissue certified organic animal welfare rule in organic labeling from 2017
Reign in commodity checkoff program abuses 
  • Require greater transparency of checkoff programs to include mandatory reporting and independent audits
  • Order organizations receiving checkoff funding to eliminate any federal lobbying
  • Make all checkoffs voluntary
Begin the transformation to a more resilient food system 
  • Order a study to examine true and full costs of industrialized agriculture to include but not be limited to its externalized costs on the environment, healthcare, local economies, and property values
  • Issue an order requiring greater procurement of local and sustainably produced food by the federal government
  • Order FSIS to prioritize small and medium size meat processors’ inspection and technical assistance

PDF Download: Farm Action Fund’s Policy Priorities for USDA’s First 100 Days

Our policy recommendations for USDA’s first 100 days are drawn from our larger transition paper for the Biden Administration, “Build Back Better: Our Call to Action and Roadmap for Rural America.” This comprehensive plan, endorsed by 16 food, farm and rural organizations, was developed after months of research and conversations among diverse rural stakeholders, and details our recommendations for the administration to successfully revitalize rural communities.