New Funding For Socially Disadvantaged & Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program
Farmers of color and military veteran farmers face particularly challenging obstacles when it comes to starting and sustaining successful farm operations. One of the factors hampering the success of these farmers has been their historically limited access to federal grant, training, and resource programs. Many U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) programs exist at the federal level to support farmers – loan, conservation, and disaster assistance programs to name just a few – however, insufficient/inadequate outreach and assistance to farmers of color and military veterans have contributed to their lack of access to and participation in these programs.
USDA recently released the latest batch of grant projects funded through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as “Section 2501”). This program is unique among federal farm bill programs in that it is the only one dedicated specifically to addressing the needs of minority farmers. In the last farm bill the program was expanded to also serve military veterans.