USDA announces $8.4M to aid next generation of farmers

Total of 54 partner organizations in 35 states working with USDA to provide training, outreach and technical assistance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 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.

Recipients include:

State

Recipient Organization

Award Amount

Alabama

Alabama A&M University

$180,791

Alabama

Alabama State Association of Cooperatives

$200,000

Alabama

Tuskegee University

$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

Wealth Watchers

$176,131

Florida

Florida International University

$174,759

Florida

North South Institute

$141,664

Georgia

Georgia Organics

$59,392

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

Tugaloo College

$199,983

Mississippi

Tri-County Agricultural Cooperative

$150,992

Mississippi

Winston County Self Help

$200,000

Missouri

Lincoln University

$199,965

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

Oregon

Adelante Mujeres

$62,712

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

Total $8,426,500

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.

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish