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News Release

Release No. 0266.12
Office of Communications (202)720-4623

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USDA Announces Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON, August 8, 2012 - Agriculture Secretary Vilsack today announced the award of 70 grants to tribes, educational institutions and non-profit organizations across the country to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and landowners. The awards are being made through the Outreach Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) Competitive Grants Program, known as the "2501 program."

"USDA continues working to help improve the success of minority farmers and ranchers in today's agricultural economy," said Vilsack. "These grants provide crucial assistance to help institutions who are helping American producers build capacity and increase profitability, and thereby create stronger rural communities."

As authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, the grants awarded today will bring $19 million in new and additional funding to programs and organizations to bolster assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. Grants will enable recipients to work with prospective farmers as they acquire, build and operate farms and ranches, revitalize the rural economy, and create new, sustainable economic opportunities in the region and nation.

Recipients include new awardees and qualifying programs and organizations that have previously benefited from Department assistance.

New Fiscal year 2012 awards:


Tyonek Tribal Conservation District: Native Alaskan Tribal Conservation Districts: Outreach and Education with USDA Programs



East Arkansas Enterprise Community (EAEC), Inc.: Building Capacity to Manage and Diversify Southeast Asian Agricultural Farming Operations in AR


Arkansas Land & Farm Development Corporation: Farm and Rural Outreach Support Service


Seven Harvest, Inc.: Revitalizing Farm Cooperative Businesses in the Mid-South


University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Program: To assist SDP in owning and operating successful farms and ranches; improve participation among SDP in USDA programs; introduce agriculture related information to SDP through innovative outreach and technical assistance techniques.


Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development: Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program


University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff: To assist SDP in owning and operating successful farms and ranches; improve participation among SDP in USDA programs; introduce agriculture related information to SDP through innovative outreach and technical assistance techniques.



Developing Innovations in Navajo Education, Inc.: Native American Producer Success


Tohono O'odham Community Action (TOCA): Native Foodways Farmer and Food Outreach Program


Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona: Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers in Arizona



Hopland Band of Pomo Indians: TAP Meets TEK- Tribal Agriculture Program Meets Traditional Environmental Knowledge


Central Coast Agricultural Water Quality Coalition: Supporting effective communication between Ethnic Chinese Growers in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties and Agricultural Support and Regulatory Agencies and Organizations



First Nations Development Institute: Navajo-Hopi Technical Assistance Project



Albany State University: Environmental Assistance and Education for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers in the Eastern Plain of Georgia


Fort Valley State University: Landowners Initiative for Forestry Education (LIFE)



Tufts University: Building Capacity for Massachusetts and New Hampshire Immigrant and Refugee Farmers



Maine Rural Partners: Growing Micmac Farms and Farmers



Michigan State University: La Siembra: Enhancing participation of Socially Disadvantaged Latino Farmers in USDA programs



North Delta Produce Growers Association: To work aggressively with local farmers to scale up production and supply vegetables to the plant for value added product enhancement and subsequent delivery to buyers.


Mississippi Association of Cooperatives: Infusing, Informing and Implementing to Improve Farm Income


Alcorn State University: Small Farm Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Project


Jackson State University: Extend outreach and technical financial and business services to socially disadvantage farmers.


New Mexico

Regents of New Mexico State University: To meet the needs of SDFR of targeted counties in northern and southern New Mexico.


Farm to Table: Farm to Market: Building on Success, Farmers Teaching Farmers How to Grow Their Businesses and Enter New Markets



Board of Regents, NSHE, University of Nevada, Reno: Offer one-on-one outreach and assistance through training in Indian land tenure and water rights issues on reservations that can limit the ability for American Indian farmers to qualify for USDA programs.



The Asian Services in Action, Inc.: Refugee/Immigrant Agricultural Project of NE Ohio (RAP-NEO)


South Dakota

The Harvest Initiative, Inc.: Facilitating access to USDA agencies and programs on the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation



Plant It Forward: Refugee beginning farmer initiative.


The University of Texas - Pan American: Socially-Disadvantaged Producers Small-Acreage Initiative


Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service: Alternative Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture Targeting Small Hispanic Operators and College Agriculture Students in the Lower Rio Grande Valley


Texas/Mexico Border Coalition: South Texas Socially Disadvantaged Producers Outreach & Assistance Project



Utah State University: Outreach Assistance to Women and Hispanic Farmers in Procuring and Operating Small Farms in the West



Rural Community Development Resources: Promoting food safety & security by immigrant farmers and ranchers.



Growing Power: To assist small and disadvantaged farmers in meeting their economic goals, sharing USDA information, and providing technical training and local food.


Oneida Tribe of Indians of WI: Native American Farming Food Initiative (NAFFI)


Continuing Fiscal year 2012 awards:


Tuskegee University: Small Farm Outreach, Training and Technical Assistance Project


Alabama A&M University: Facilitating Equitable Access to USDA Programs, Resources and Markets for Socially Disadvantaged



Silas H. Hunt Community Development Corporation: Community Development Small Farm Outreach Program



Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation (MANA): MANA: Outreach to Spanish Speaking Farmers in the Central Coast - Phase III


National Hmong American Farmers: Bridge the Gap: Connecting Small Farmers to USDA Resources II


District of Columbia

Rural Coalition: To assist SDFR in owning and operating successful farms; improve participation in USDA programs; and provide outreach and education on USDA class action lawsuits and claims processes.


National Immigrant Farming Initiative, Inc.: Building Partnerships for Rural Prosperity with Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers



Delaware State University: Outreach and Technical Assistance for Delaware's Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Forest Landowners



New North Florida Cooperative Association, Inc.: Effective Utilization of USDA Programs to Facilitate Farm to School and Other Market Opportunities for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers


North-South Institute: Technical Assistance, Training and Outreach to Socially Disadvantaged and Limited Resource Farmers and Ranchers in Florida and Selected Border Counties in Alabama and Georgia.



Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Inc.: Technical Assistance to African-American Farmers and Ranchers in Southwest Georgia to Advance Viability of their Operations and Participation in Federal Programs


Fort Valley State University: Changing Socially Disadvantaged Farmers Educational and Technological Approach to USDA Programs

(Web Based)


Southwest Georgia Project: Production and Marketing Development of Socially Disadvantaged Women Farmers in Southwest Georgia



University of Hawaii: Outreach and Assistance in Tropical Pasture and Livestock Management for Pacific Islanders


Pacific Gateway Center: OTTUS (Outreach To The Under Served Project)



Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center: Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers in Louisiana



University of Maryland, Eastern Shore: Small Farm Training Institute for Limited Resource and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers



Lincoln University: Continuing to Promote USDA Outreach Programs and Sustainable Agriculture.



Alcorn State University: Supplemental Grant to Launch Phase I of the Establishment of the Policy Institute for Rural Communities and Small Farmers and Ranchers.


Winston County Self Help: Energizing Rural Communities with Outreach and Assistance



Little Big Horn College: Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers 2012 to 2013


North Carolina

Operation Spring Plant: Developing Tools Boxes for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers in Selected North and South Carolina and Georgia Counties.


NCABL Land Loss Prevention Project: From Discrimination to a Future in Farming II


Black Family Land Trust, Inc.: Wealth Retention and Asset Protection program for African American farmers and landowners in AL, MS, and SC


Whitaker Small Farm Group, Inc.: Hands on Training: Assisting Socially Disadvantaged Farmers in Successful Farm Ownership and Operation.


New Mexico

Hispanic Farmers Ranchers of America: HFRA'S Socially Disadvantaged Farmers & Ranchers Settlement Project in Conjunction with USDA- OAO


Taos County Economic Development Corporation: TCEDC's Value-Added Learning Center for Outreach & Education


New Mexico Acequia Association: Improving engagement of Hispanic farmers and ranchers in USDA.


New York

National Audubon Society: Audubon Arkansas NATIVE (Native Agriculture to InVigorate Ecosystems) Project



National Network of Forest Practitioners: Southern Outreach and Assistance Resources for Forestry Project



Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project, Inc.: Enhancing communication and access to USDA programs for small and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma


National Women in Agriculture Association: Outreach Education for Beginning, Young & Minority Farmers, Ranchers and Producers


South Carolina

United Farmers USA: USDA program enhancement project for SC socially disadvantaged farmers, beginning farmers, ranchers, forest land owners, veterans, and youth.



Virginia State University: Outreach, Training, and Technical Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers, Ranchers, and Forest Landowners in Virginia



Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council: Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council Agricultural Outreach Program


Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan, grant, or loan/grant agreement.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).