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USDA Announces $22 Million to Support Underserved and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers through the 2501 Program

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced approximately $22.3 million available to community-based and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and Tribal entities that help underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers own and operate successful farms. Funding is made through USDA’s 2501 Program. This program is administered by USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).

“2501 Program partners are based in local communities and rural areas where they serve a critical role in maximizing USDA’s outreach efforts to underserved communities,” said OPPE Director Lisa Ramírez. “They provide training and technical assistance to help these agricultural producers succeed and also connect them to USDA programs and services.”

For more than 30 years, and in partnership with organizations nationwide, the 2501 Program has helped reach underserved farmers and ranchers. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the program to include assistance to veteran farmers and ranchers. The 2018 Farm Bill increased mandatory funding for the program through fiscal year 2024. With 2501 funding, organizations conduct education, training, farming demonstrations, and conferences on farming and agribusiness.

Since 2010, the 2501 Program has continued to increase access to USDA’s programs and services and awarded 615 grants totaling more than $194 million. For example, FY 2023 grantee Farm to Table Guam is helping farmers in Guam with business training, financial planning, and technical assistance in crop production and distribution. Quivira Coalition is reaching rural producers in New Mexico with radio spots in English, Spanish, and Diné Bizaad (Navajo) about arid land stewardship practices and conservation.

Eligible applicants include not-for-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and a range of higher education institutions.

Applications must be submitted through and received by Friday, July 5, 2024. Visit the 2501 Program page for more information on the 2501 funding opportunity.

Learn more through upcoming webinars:

Session 1: May 22, 2024, at 2 p.m. EDT

Session 2: June 26, 2024, at 2 p.m. EDT

Call for Peer Review Panelists

USDA seeks qualified individuals to serve as peer reviewers to evaluate 2501 program proposals for fiscal year 2024. The peer review approach brings together diverse individuals who can provide fair, expert and unbiased evaluation of proposals. The process ensures that grant projects are properly planned, competition is open and fair, proposed budgets are carefully examined, and grant awards are structured to protect the interests of the government. The entire review process will be conducted virtually for approximately three to four weeks. Selected reviewers will receive compensation. Visit the OPPE website for full details. If you are interested in serving on the peer review panel, and your affiliated organization is not applying for a 2501 grant, please send your resume and summary of qualifications to no later than May 22, 2024, for consideration.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit


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