Background Members Meetings Resources Contact
Equity Commission: Shaping Change at USDA
At USDA, we acknowledge we have not done enough to provide all farmers and ranchers an equal chance of success and prosperity. We are committed to changing that, actively working to build a USDA that ensures none of our customers are ignored or left behind.
About the Equity Commission
This 15-member independent commission is charged with evaluating USDA programs and services and will recommend how we can reduce barriers for accessing them. Using this information, USDA will make needed changes so that our programs, services and decisions reflect the values of equity and inclusion. This will ensure everyone has a fair shot at resources, begin closing the racial wealth gap and addressing longstanding inequities in agriculture.
The work of the Equity Commission will empower USDA to objectively confront the hard reality of past discrimination and its lingering harm; helping USDA build back better, and serve our customers more fairly and equitably.
Dr. Jewel Bronaugh
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
Arturo S. Rodríguez
United Farm Workers President Emeritus
We are excited and humbled to serve as the Co-Chairs for the Equity Commission at the United States Department of Agriculture. This Commission has the imperative task of providing recommendations to the Secretary on policies, programs, and actions needed to address racial equity issues within the Department of Agriculture and its programs, including strengthening accountability at USDA. In short, this Commission is charged with advancing equity at a time when it is clearly needed and long overdue.
We are honored to lead this extraordinary group of talented individuals from all walks of life who have agreed to serve on the Equity Commission and its Agriculture Subcommittee. These individuals encompass the very essence of public service.
We are committed to implementing the President’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government to help the Biden-Harris Administration address equity across the whole of the Federal Government.
We are grateful for the trust Secretary Vilsack has put in us and we look forward to working independently with the full commission and subcommittees to provide USDA with actionable recommendations to fulfill the promise of being the people’s Department and help ensure that everyone receives the fair chance to reach their full potential.
In gratitude and service,
Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, USDA Deputy Secretary and Arturo S. Rodríguez, United Farm Workers President Emeritus
Equity Commission Meetings
The Equity Commission will meet up to four times each year, either virtually or face-to-face. All Equity Commission meetings are open to the public.
- January 31 - February 2, 2023
The fourth public meeting of the Equity Commission (EC or Commission) and its Agriculture Subcommittee and Rural Community Economic Development Subcommittee was held January 31 - February 2, 2023. It was a hybrid meeting conducted in person and via Zoom.
Agenda (PDF, 394 KB)
USDA Hosts the Equity Commission Fourth Meeting Flickr album
Meeting Slides (PPTX, 10.8 MB)
- September 21-22, 2022
The third public meeting of the Equity Commission (EC or Commission) and its Agriculture Subcommittee and Rural Community Economic Development Subcommittee was held September 21-22, 2022. It was a hybrid meeting conducted in person and via Zoom.
Agenda (PDF, 261 KB)
Equity Commission Third Public Meeting - Day 1
Presentation for Third Public Meeting - Day 1 (PDF, 2.5 MB)
Presentation for Compilation of Historical Recommendations (PDF, 3.8 MB)
Equity Commission Third Public Meeting - Day 2
September 2022 Public Written Comments (PDF, 1.0 MB)
USDA Equity Commission Public Meeting at University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
USDA Hosts the Equity Commission Flickr album
Meeting Minutes (PDF, 885 KB)
- May 10-11, 2022
The second public meeting of the Equity Commission (EC or Commission) and its Agriculture Subcommittee was held May 10 - 11, 2022. It was a hybrid meeting conducted in person and via Zoom.
Agenda (PDF, 141 KB)
Meeting Minutes (PDF, 1.0 MB)
Meeting Slides (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Zoom Chat Comments (PDF, 251 KB)
Presentation on Farm Workers (PPTX, 71.7 MB)
Tribal Consultation Papers (Referenced and Distributed during the Meeting)
USDA Equity Commission Virtual Meeting - May 10th Recording
USDA Equity Commission Virtual Meeting - May 11th Recording
May 2022 Written Public Comments (PDF, 12.3 MB)
- February 28, 2022
The inaugural meeting of the Equity Commission (EC or Commission) and its Agriculture Subcommittee was held virtually on February 28, 2022. Members of the public who registered by February 21st had the opportunity to sign up to provide oral comments during the meeting. Members of the public were also invited to submit written comments in their registration form and via email to email@example.com. The public comment period was open until March 15, 2022. All meeting materials, including public comments, are posted below.
Meeting Agenda (PDF, 65.9 KB)
Meeting Slides (PDF, 858 KB)
Meeting Minutes (PDF, 543 KB)
Written Comments (PDF, 26.7 MB)
Zoom Chat Comments (PDF, 1.5 MB)