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The USDA announced on November 24, 2021, that it will provide $75 million in American Rescue Plan funding to 20 organizations to provide technical assistance and help connect underserved producers with USDA programs and services. USDA said that the organizations were selected for their proven track records working with underserved producer communities, including military veterans, beginning farmers, limited resource producers, and producers living in high-poverty areas. The selected organizations will help producers with things like business and tax planning, financial assistance planning, market development and access, land access assistance, and farmer advocacy. The organizations will work with other cooperating groups and with USDA to address the needs of underserved producers. For example:
The National Black Farmers Association will collaborate with organizations and will provide financial and business assistance and opportunities to receive USDA program technical support.
The Intertribal Agriculture Council will lead training and technical assistance with Native American farmers, ranchers and forest landowners across the country.
The Farmer Veteran Coalition will coordinate with other cooperators to focus on the needs of farmer and rancher veteran members.
The 20 selected organizations are:
1. Federation of Southern Cooperatives
2. Intertribal Agriculture Council
3. National Black Farmers Association
4. The Socially Disadvantaged Farmer and Rancher Policy Center at Alcorn State University
5. Indian Land Tenure Foundation
6. Land Loss Prevention Project
7. Rural Coalition
8. Center for Farm Financial Management
9. Hmong American Farmers Association
10. Farmer Veteran Coalition
11. The Kohala Center, Inc.
12. Alaska Village Initiatives
13. Farmers Legal Action Group
14. National Young Farmers Coalition
15. National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association
16. The Center for Heirs Property Preservation
17. National Immigrant Farmer Initiative, Inc
18. National Cooperative Business Association
19. National Black Growers Council
20. World Farmers, Inc.
The funding for the program is part of the $1 billion allocated in Section 1006 of the American Rescue Plan to fund equity initiatives at USDA, like addressing heirs’ property, barriers to accessing USDA programs, and forming an Equity Commission at USDA. Through Section 1006, USDA is also establishing an Equity Commission to advise the Secretary of Agriculture by identifying USDA programs, policies, systems, structures, and practices that contribute to barriers to inclusion or access, systemic discrimination, or exacerbate or perpetuate racial, economic, health and social disparities.