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PROGRAM ON HOLD: Peter Maurin’s Agricultural Ideal: Now There is Help for Minority Farmers

Peter Maurin

Peter Maurin
Marquette University Archives

This is what Black farmers feared when they heard the good news:

U.S. Farmers Of Color Were About To Get Loan Forgiveness. Now The Program Is On Hold




A key part of Peter Maurin’s practical program for implementing Catholic tradition was family or community farms. In the U.S., smaller farms have been on the verge of dying out because of policies of the government in favor of huge agribusinesses. Nowhere has that been more obvious (as pointed out in the Houston Catholic Worker in July-August 2020) than with the discriminatory policies against Black farmers for generations. A very positive provision in the American Rescue Act provides funds for debt relief for minority farmers and creates a racial equity commission to overcome the barriers to access to USDA programs (so generous to large agribusinesses) that have existed for so long.

Peter Maurin did not seek government assistance for his programs. Many of the programs he recommended for personalists to implement, however, can be greatly hindered by wrongheaded policies, including support for large corporations that crowd out small businesses.

Houston Catholic Worker, April-June 2021, Vol. XLI, No. 2.