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Reflections from the Road in Oregon: Building Trust and Partnerships so Rural Communities Thrive

On June 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) held its Pacific Northwest Regional Equity Convening on the beautiful grounds of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s Tamastslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton, Oregon. Nestled in the heart of rural communities, this event was more than just a meeting—it was a heartfelt gathering aimed at nurturing trust and forging partnerships essential for rural communities to thrive.

Reflections from the Road: Equity Commission Connects with Minority Farmers and Landowners at Regional Equity Convening in North Carolina

On June 13-15, USDA Equity Commission members and I participated in the 18th annual Annual Minority Farmers and Land Owners Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. The annual conference is an event that brings farmers, landowners, and ranchers together with agriculture industry experts, assisting on making informed decisions regarding farm enterprises and retention of land.

E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Gives Professor Inspiration and Confidence

Being named a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) E. Kika De La Garza (EKDLG) Fellow means something different to each fellow. For Dr. Maureen Victoria, visiting assistant professor at Sam Houston State University’s School of Agricultural Sciences in Huntsville, Texas, it represented confidence, knowledge and inspiration. “It was life-changing,” she said. “It was probably one of the best weeks of my life.”

1890 Scholar Applies Interest in Genetics to Help Farmers

Growing up in Albany, Georgia, Bryan Hallman was surrounded by agriculture but had little exposure to the industry at school. He realized he was interested in pursuing a career in agriculture during his senior year of high school when a teacher told him about the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1890 National Scholars Program.

Gearing up to Celebrate the International Year of the Woman Farmer

Did you know that women are responsible for roughly half of the world’s food production? The United Nations’ designation of 2026 as the International Year of the Woman Farmer gives the global community a chance to highlight that fact and celebrate the incredibly important role women play in ensuring global food security. At the same time, it’s an unprecedented opportunity to underscore – and to address – the myriad social and economic challenges that women in agriculture face worldwide.

2501 Grant Helps Spread Regenerative Agriculture Knowledge throughout Taos County

The Taos County Economic Development Corporation (TCEDC) has been serving the members of Taos County and northern New Mexico for over 35 years. The organization supports the food, land, water and cultures of the people of Northern New Mexico by practicing regenerative agriculture and spreading knowledge of sustainable farming.

SNAP-Ed Connects Culture, Land, and Food

For many communities, the SNAP-Education program provides much more than basic nutrition guidance. In Kāneʻohe (in Honolulu), Hawaii, the SNAP-Ed funded Luluku Farms’ Aloha ʻĀina Agri-Cultural Restoration project uses the ʻĀina (land) to preserve traditional crops so the community can achieve self-sustainability, while providing keiki (kids) opportunities to learn about their cultural and traditional practices — as well as nutrition education. The notion of fertile land that Aloha ʻĀina symbolizes promotes community engagement, bolsters cultural preservation, and improves nutrition security by increasing community access to culturally appropriate foods.

1890s National Scholar Finds Purpose Through Science

Four years ago, Jordan McMahon wasn’t sure if he would go to college. Today, he is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1890 National Scholar and published researcher. He recently graduated from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and will be pursuing a master’s degree, eventual Ph.D., and a career in agriculture.

Nils Christoffersen: Uplifting Rural Communities Through a Stewardship Economy

With a long family history of farming in rural communities, Nils Christoffersen, a member of USDA’s Equity Commission Rural Community Economic Development Subcommittee, was inspired to learn about the challenges impacting rural America. Christoffersen’s desire to bring attention to the needs, opportunities, and challenges faced by rural and Tribal communities grew from participating in farming and enjoying the experiences of farm life. This led him to the Equity Commission where he helped develop recommendations that were brought forward to help improve outcomes for USDA customers in rural areas.