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USDA Names Minority Farmers Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, November 6, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed members of the USDA Minority Farmers Advisory Committee (MFAC). The committee provides farmer, rancher, industry and public perspectives on USDA strategies, policies and programs that impact minority farmers and ranchers.

The Committee held its first public meeting September 22-24, 2015, in Savannah, Ga., to consider a number of related issues including the Department's outreach and assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Grant Program (also known as the 2501 Program). Committee members serve two-year appointments expiring in June 2017.

Committee members include:

  • Alfonzo Abeyta of A Quarter Circle Lazy 5 Ranch, Antonito, CO
  • Terry A. Cannon of The Piney Woods School, Braxton, MS
  • Jennie Crittendon of FSA County Office Committee, Jackson, MI
  • Claud D. Evans of Okfuskee County Veterinary Clinic, Okemah, OK
  • Paula Garcia (Chair) of New Mexico Acequia Association, Mora, NM
  • Dewayne L. Goldmon of Monsanto/National Black Growers Council, Pine Bluff, AR
  • Edward C. DeLeon Guerrero of Saipan Farm and Garden, Saipan, M.P.
  • William R. Miller, Jr. of Ohio Farmers Union, Oxford, OH
  • Igalious "Ike" Mills of Texas Small Farmers and Ranchers, Port Arthur, TX
  • Frederick Newhouse of Newhouse Land and Cattle, Houston, TX
  • Harvey Reed of Louisiana Association of Cooperatives, Gretna, LA
  • Renard F. Turner of Virginia State University, Gordonsville, VA
  • Randall S. Ware (Vice Chair) Indian Country Agriculture and Resource Development Corp., Fort Cobb, OK
  • Charles Linwood Whitaker of Whitaker Small Farm Group, Raleigh, NC
  • John Zippert of Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Eutaw, AL

MFAC is the public advisory arm of the 2501 Program administered by USDA's Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO). Established by the 2008 Farm Bill, OAO works across all USDA agencies to improve the viability and profitability of small and beginning farmers and ranchers; increase access to USDA programs for historically underserved communities; grow agricultural opportunities for farm workers; and close the professional achievement gap by expanding opportunities for diverse, talented young people working in the American agricultural sector.


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).