The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $8.4 million to support the work of 54 partner organizations in 35 states to provide training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged, tribal and veteran farmers and ranchers.
An additional $400,000 will help establish the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss.
“Today’s announcement is part of our ongoing commitment to support an agricultural landscape where there is room and opportunity for all,” said Vilsack. “Agriculture is just like any other business-it needs people from diverse backgrounds and experience levels in order to reach its full potential and meet the challenges of tomorrow. Identifying, recruiting and training a vibrant next generation of American farmers and ranchers has never been more exciting or more urgent than it is right now.”
Among today’s recipients, 31 partner organizations serve persistent poverty counties that are part of USDA’s StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity Initiative. Twenty-five of the partnerships include resources for veterans interested in farming and 12 focus on tribal communities.
Examples include a $200,000 grant in Minnesota and western Wisconsin to support the Latino Economic Development Center in assisting low-income, beginning Latino and Hmong farmers by providing direct training and assistance to increase land ownership, profitability and sustainability. In South Carolina a $147,722 grant will support Project Outreach, Education and Training (POET) coordination in areas identified as having the highest concentrations of socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers in USDA StrikeForce counties.
|State||Recipient Organization||Award Amount|
|Alabama||Alabama A&M University||$180,791|
|Alabama||Alabama State Association of Cooperatives||$200,000|
|Alabama||The United Christian Community Association||$114,300|
|Alaska||Alaska Tribal Conservation Alliance||$86,286|
|Alaska||University of Alaska Fairbanks||$75,134|
|Arizona||Developing Innovation in Navajo Education||$199,348|
|Arkansas||University of Arkansas System||$200,000|
|California||National Hmong American Farmers||$105,847|
|Colorado||Adams State University||$127,387|
|Colorado||First Nations Development Institute||$158,175|
|Delaware||Delaware State University||$199,988|
|Florida||Florida International University||$174,759|
|Florida||North South Institute||$141,664|
|Georgia||Golden Triangle Resource Conservation and Development Council||$106,417|
|Georgia||Quarterman, James dba FMG Farm||$125,981|
|Hawaii||The Kohala Center||$171,465|
|Idaho||Mountain States Group||$94,052|
|Kentucky||Kentucky State University||$199,982|
|Louisiana||Southern University and A&M College||$200,000|
|Maryland||University of Maryland Eastern Shore||$181,605|
|Michigan||Michigan Integrated Food & Farming Systems||$101,105|
|Minnesota||Hmong National Development||$195,926|
|Minnesota||Latino Economic Development CE||$200,000|
|Mississippi||Alcorn State University Education Building Corporation||$200,000|
|Mississippi||Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance||$150,000|
|Mississippi||Tri-County Agricultural Cooperative||$150,992|
|Mississippi||Winston County Self Help||$200,000|
|Montana||NACDC Financial Services||$131,859|
|Montana||National Center for Appropriate Technology||$99,095|
|New Mexico||New Mexico State University||$199,767|
|New York||International Rescue Committee||$200,000|
|North Carolina||North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University||$197,871|
|Ohio||Central State University||$199,999|
|Oklahoma||Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative||$132,799|
|Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania Horticultural Society||$199,950|
|Rhode Island||Souths Side Community Land Trust||$114,968|
|South Carolina||United Farmers USA, Inc.||$147,722|
|Tennessee||Tennessee State University||$155,133|
|Texas||Gleaning Network of Texas||$139,513|
|Texas||Prairie View A&M University||$200,000|
|Texas||University of Texas – Pan American||$199,995|
|Vermont||University of Vermont & State Agricultural College||$41,602|
|Virginia||Virginia State University||$200,000|
|Washington||Washington State University||$40,770|
|West Virginia||West Virginia State University||$199,793|
|Wisconsin||Linda & Gene Farley Center for Peace Justice and Sustainability||$197,816|
|Wisconsin||Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program||$88,816|
|Wisconsin||Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin||$199,645|
These grants are administered through USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) 2501 Program. Since 2010, more than $74 million has been invested through the 2501 Program to leverage the work of 304 local partners. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the program and expanded assistance to include military veterans.
Creation of a center for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research at an 1890 Land-Grant Institution was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. The Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at Alcorn State University will provide a national hub for analysis and development of policy recommendations to improve engagement and promote the interests of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
OAO works across USDA agencies to improve the viability and profitability of small and beginning farmers and ranchers; improve access to USDA programs for historically underserved communities; increase agricultural opportunities for farm workers; and close the professional achievement gap by providing opportunities for diverse, talented young people to support the agricultural industry in the 21st century.