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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The US Department of Agriculture allocates $550 million to projects for disadvantaged producers

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The USDA is allocating up to $550 million to support projects that enable disadvantaged producers access to land, capital, and markets, and train the next generation of diverse agricultural professionals.

These investments are made through funding provided in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Section 1006, as amended by Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act. These allocations fund and direct the USDA to take action to help ensure disadvantaged producers have the resources, tools, programs, and technical support they need to succeed.

These funding opportunities are historic and part of the USDA’s unwavering commitment to promoting equality for all, including the underserved and marginalized and those negatively affected by persistent poverty and inequality. “When we tackle long-standing inequalities, our entire country benefits,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. “Access to land, heirs’ property, affordable credit and access to trusted markets – along with continued access to help from well-trained experts – are essential to strengthening our communities.

“The USDA is also committed to partnering with organizations that serve minorities to create exciting and satisfying pathways for next-generation leaders to secure jobs in agriculture, nutrition, food, development, and the federal government,” he said.

So far, the USDA has implemented provisions in Section 1006 of the US Bailout Act, including standing up independently stock commission. Also provided by the US Department of Agriculture $75 million for partnership agreements with 20 organizations which will provide technical assistance and support to disadvantaged producers, including war veterans, producers of limited resources, novice farmers and ranchers, and/or producers living in areas of extreme poverty on topics ranging from business development to property heirs. The USDA has also received requests for at least another $25 million in technical assistance partnership agreements and will announce the winners by fall.

The USDA is taking additional steps to implement ARPA Section 1006, as amended by Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act. Specifically, the department declares:

Up to $300 million for “Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access” Projects – This funding opportunity notice looks for partner organizations for projects that increase access to land, capital, and markets. Projects must be innovative and help move disadvantaged producers to prosperity. Projects should focus on enhancing access to land with at least one of the following relevant areas of concern: access to capital concerns affecting access to land; market access concerns affecting the ability to access land; or a combination of one or more concerns relating to land, capital and market access.

The deadline for applications is October 28. The funding opportunity notification will be available at grants in the coming days.

$250 million for “From Learning to Leadership: Growing the Next Generation of Diversified Food and Agriculture Professionals” – The USDA is committed not only to recruiting, developing, and developing a workforce that truly reflects the rich and diverse characteristics of America, but also to create an inclusive work environment so that everyone can rise to the top. Their potential and prosperity in support of our mission. The need to develop the next generation of professionals is timely and important. This competitive funding opportunity aims to attract, inspire and retain diverse and talented students in qualified minority-serving institutions for careers in food, agriculture and related disciplines, with a focus on employment in the federal government sector. Eligible applicants are 1,890 land-grant institutions, 1994 land-grant institutions, Alaska Native service institutions, Native Hawaiian institutions, Hispanic institutions, and insular area institutions of higher education located on the territory of the United States. The deadline for applications is October 25. see Request for applications For full details.

In February, the US Department of Agriculture released a file Equity Action Plan, which is a framework for appreciating the USDA’s history of challenges with disadvantaged communities, including blacks, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and other farmers of color. The USDA is committed to ensuring equality in all of its activities, which includes improving access to programs and services for all stakeholders and communities, especially underserved producers.

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of announcements building momentum around the USDA’s historic commitment to eradicating generations of systemic racism; Center for equity in decision-making and policy-making; It has a diverse, modern and comprehensive workforce; reduce barriers to access; Ensure that USDA programming includes all employees and all customers. Learn more through www.usda.gov/equity.


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