Editor’s Note: Weekly Agriculture is a weekly version of POLITICO Pro’s daily agricultural policy newsletter, Morning Agriculture. POLITICO Pro is a political intelligence platform that combines the news you need with tools you can use to take action on the biggest stories of the day. Act on the news with POLITICO Pro.

– Black farmers have been woefully behind white farmers when it comes to securing direct loans and grants in recent years, according to an analysis of POLITICO data. Advocates for black farmers say the agriculture ministry must be prepared to do more to increase equitable access to agricultural loans and programs.

– Data shows Latinos living in the West face the highest forest fire danger rates largely because low-income segments of the population find affordable housing in high-risk areas.

– Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to visit New Mexico this week to discuss food, nutrition and infrastructure.

HAPPY TUESDAY JULY 6! Welcome to Morning Ag, where your host is excited to return to the movies after nearly two years of streaming. Thought Black Widow first? Send advice to [email protected] and @ximena_bustillo, and follow us @Matin_Ag.

MODERN DISPARITY BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE FARMERS: Data collected by POLITICO shows that not only have black farmers received the fewest direct loans from all ethnic and racial groups in the past three years, but also the number and share of direct loans has reached its lowest level. in 10 years last year.

Why is this important: USDA direct loans are meant to be a kind of last resort for farmers who cannot get credit elsewhere. Yet white farmers have almost twice the acceptance rate, report your sincere.

The problem is not limited to loans. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack mentioned that all farmers of color received less than 1% of the Coronavirus Food Aid Program dollars, despite making up about 5% of all farmers.

The department continues to wage legal battles in multiple courts to ensure that a congressional-authorized program to provide approximately $ 4 billion in debt relief to farmers of color is implemented.

What they want: But advocates for black farmers say USDA must take action beyond debt relief to remove barriers at the Farm Service Agency level, including racial bias, inexperienced staff and lack of gang. pass-through to help with applications. Farmers recalled that FSA officers had misled them about available loan applications and were generally absent to help guide the process.

“You could be wasting all of your time trying to get an approval letter and still not getting a loan,” Travis Cleaver, a black farmer in Hodgenville, Ky., Said in an interview. “The package is so thick and so intimidating, it’s not something you’re used to doing.”

And after: The USDA conducts internal and external investigations, which are supposed to examine all programs and agencies in the department to determine where access may be lacking, not only for black farmers, but also for all producers, including entry-level farmers. and other socially disadvantaged producers and herders.

The USDA has previously said it plans to begin reviews with consumer-facing branches, including FSA. The external review is not expected to begin until the fall, but the internal review is underway and is expected to be completed during the summer.

IN THE MEANTIME, IN TEXAS: The USDA continues to wage its bitter battle for debt relief in Texas, where state agriculture commissioner Sid Miller has sued the department and won another preliminary injunction to freeze the process. payment last week, as reported by MA Friday.

During the weekend, the Ministry of Justice filed a notice indicating that although the injunction stops all payment, previous injunctions filed in Wisconsin and Florida allow the USDA to continue preparing payments, including sending letters to eligible farmers if the injunctions are lifted.

The Federal District Judge in the Texas case, Reed O’Connor, ordered the plaintiffs to respond to the opinion of the Department of Justice. If they did, and O’Connor agreed, the USDA could be barred from pursuing debt relief until the legal disputes are resolved.

LATINO RESIDENTS FACED WITH MOST WILD FIRE THREATS: Analysis of census, insurance and wildfire data shows West Latino residents face the greatest threat from wildfires, in part because low-income Latinos are pressured to live in more remote areas that are sensitive to forest fires, reports Zack Colman of Pro Energy.

What’s in the numbers? Data from climate service company risQ ​​revealed that Latin American populations increased by 223% in areas most at risk of forest fires between 2010 and 2019, compared to areas without fire risk. forest. White populations in those same most threatened areas have fallen by 32 percent.

An accessibility crisis comes up against the climate: Demographers said that many Latino residents who have moved to rural farming areas for farm work or to wealthy ski or outdoor recreation towns for service jobs are settling in the hinterlands where the land is cheaper – and services like firefighting are less accessible.

Last year, wildfires hit Latin American communities dotting farming towns in Oregon and Washington which are baking in record high temperatures and drought this year. Flames engulf homes and mobile home parks, devastating farm workers whose the average annual salary is less than $ 20,000.

Related: Latinos Are Most Concerned About Climate Change: Another study by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that Latinos are more concerned about the climate than non-Hispanic whites and African Americans, report Shayna Greene and Nancy Vu from Pro Sustainability.

Key voting issue: In a 2019 study, participants were asked how important 29 political issues would be in determining their vote in the 2020 presidential election. Among registered Latino voters, 57% said global warming would be “very important” to them. vote. Respondents ranked the issue the sixth most important issue, above immigration and behind environmental protection.

Yale researchers also found that predominantly Spanish-speaking Latinos were more alarmed and concerned about climate change than English-speaking Latinos.

VIEWS OF THE FOURTH: Farm workers were among the core worker group honored at the July 4 celebration at the White House. A family of farm workers who are members of the UFW Foundation of Georgia and a union farm worker leader of United Farm Workers of Washington State and his family pictured the two organizations and the country’s 2.4 million essential agricultural workers, according to a statement.

Two days earlier, Biden hosted a White House naturalization ceremony for 21 immigrants. He took the opportunity advocate for legislation to create a path to citizenship for farm workers and others. Lawmakers, industry groups and worker advocates want to adopt a Senate version of the Agricultural Workforce Modernization Act before the August holidays, but time is running out.

VILSACK IS GOING TO NEW MEXICO: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is expected to visit New Mexico today and tomorrow to discuss food access and President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plans.

Vilsack will begin his journey with Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (DN.M.) for a visit to a food distribution center in Rio Rancho.

On Wednesday, Vilsack and Fernández will travel to Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo for a tour of a water treatment facility. Vilsack is expected to make an announcement on investments in water infrastructure across the country, according to a press release.

WEEKEND SPOON (ICE CREAM): Shortly before celebrating July 4 in Washington, Biden traveled to Michigan where he and the President of the Senate for Agriculture Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) Went on an ice cream trip and talked about farming.

Stabenow told reporters the couple discussed infrastructure and the importance of cherry growers and other growers to the state. (Biden also rocked by a cherry orchard on Saturday.)

– More than 60 food industry groups in the European Union have signed a new code of conduct which will be used to increase sustainability goals in the food sector, Gabriela Galindo from POLITICO Europe writes.

– Tyson Foods recalled 8.5million pounds of frozen chicken after the USDA traced three cases, including one death, of listeriosis to cooked chicken products, The New York Times reports.

– Food prices are expected to fall around the world over the next 10 years due to increased productivity, but the world is not on track to meet its goals of reducing hunger and emissions unless there is a targeted policy change. Reuters has more.

– Almonds are one of the most profitable crops in California, producing nearly 80 percent of the world’s supply, but the current heat and drought are pushing producers to cut down their orchards and ration water, according to the Wall Street Journal.

– New Mexico Farmers Worried About Tax Proposals on the Hill that may affect the way inheritances are handled, Kiowa County Press Reports.

THAT’S ALL FOR MY! Write U.S: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] and [email protected].