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Underserved and Veteran Farmers, Ranchers, and Foresters

The 2501 Program

The 1990 Farm Bill created the 2501 Program to help underserved farmers, ranchers, and foresters, who have historically experienced limited access to USDA programs and services. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the 2501 Program to include veterans. The 2501 Program is officially called Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program.

The objective of the 2501 Program is to show USDA’s commitment to ensuring that underserved and veteran farmers, ranchers, and foresters can equitably participate in USDA programs. Grants are awarded to community-based and non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, and eligible Tribal entities with at least 3 years of experience in working with socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers or veteran farmers and ranchers. Individual farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply for 2501 Program grants.

Because of differences in demographics, culture, economics, language, and other factors, there is no one single approach to identifying solutions that can benefit underserved and veteran farmers, ranchers, and foresters. 2501 Program partners are based in local communities and rural areas, where they serve a critical role in maximizing USDA’s outreach efforts, by identifying systemic barriers that need to be removed and working to increase equitable participation in USDA’s programs and services. Projects funded under the 2501 Program include, but are not limited to, conferences, workshops, and demonstrations on various farming techniques, and connecting underserved farmers and ranchers to USDA local officials to help communities increase their awareness of USDA’s programs and services.

Since 2010, the 2501 program has awarded 615 grants totaling more than $194 million.

2501 Fact Sheet 2022 (PDF, 427 KB)


Funding Opportunity Information

  • The next notice of funding opportunity for the 2501 Program opportunity will be announced in 2023 on www.grants.gov.
  • OPPE’s previous 2501 Program funding opportunity webinar held on May 4, 2022. Zoom Recording
  • OPPE’s previous 2501 Program funding opportunity webinar held on March 30, 2022. Zoom Recording

Funded Projects


Training and Educational Resources


Socially Disadvantaged Policy Research Center

Alcorn State University administers the Socially Disadvantaged Policy Research Center with support from the 2501 Program. The Center makes policy recommendations to Congress to improve the success of socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers through research, stakeholder engagement, and outreach.

Learn more about the Policy Research Center.


Contact Us

Benjamin Chan
Program Director
USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement
Phone: 202-720-6350
Email: 2501Grants@usda.gov