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Agricultural News

USDA Announces $8.8 Million to Support a Diverse Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:41:27 CDT

USDA Announces $8.8 Million to Support a Diverse Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Monday 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.



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