Margaret is the Policy Director at RAFI-USA, working to connect the experiences of farmers and community stakeholders to policy solutions. Prior to joining RAFI-USA, she worked as a farm hand and manager on farms in the Triangle, and ran the SNAP/EBT program at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.
On May 2, 2023, as a part of the Pointing the Farm Bill Towards Racial Justice Summit, RAFI Policy Director Margaret Krome-Lukens participated in a Senate briefing on racial justice in the Farm Bill. She remarks on the Fair Credit for Farmers Act, and the stories that drove us to fight for this bill.
The Inflation Reduction Act offered a vital lifeline to many farmers when it authorized debt relief for economically distressed farmers and payments to those who have experienced discrimination. However, under current law those borrowers will still face a tax liability on those payments. A new bill introduced by Senator Booker on December 8 would remedy that tax burden by making both debt relief and discrimination payments under the IRA non-taxable.
RAFI-USA welcomes the climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act. We are hopeful that the act’s debt provisions will save farms for those who are currently at risk of losing them, and we regret its repeal of race/ethnicity-specific debt relief.
On Monday, President Biden and USDA Secretary Vilsack shared details of their Action Plan for more fair, competitive, and resilient meat and poultry supply chains. RAFI-USA welcomes these steps to increase independent and small-scale processing options for farmers and ranchers.
Over the past few months, as Congress has debated the provisions of the “budget reconciliation” process, we’ve asked for your help advocating for major investments in climate-friendly agriculture and debt relief for farmers who need it. We are almost there. Ask your members of Congress to support its passage.
RAFI-USA wholeheartedly endorses the Relief for America’s Small Farmers Act, re-introduced by Sen. Gillibrand, which provides debt relief for small farms with FSA loans. We urge you to take action today and ask your legislators to cosponsor this critical bill and support its inclusion in any future legislative package.