Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Victor Vasquez today announced that USDA is awarding $101,981 in grant funding to the National Women in Agriculture Association to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. The award is being made through the Outreach Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) Competitive Grants Program, also known as the "2501 program."
"USDA and the Obama administration are committed to creating opportunities for Americans from all backgrounds," said Vilsack. "These grants will help develop programs to ensure that minority landowners have access to a full range of USDA programs, helping them increase their profitability and stay on the farm."
The National Women in Agriculture Association, established in 2008, serves African American farmers, Latinos, socially disadvantaged farmers (male and female) and underserved low-income citizens in Oklahoma. The association's goal is to develop a rural sustainable agriculture system for the socially disadvantaged by helping to make available federal funds and other resources. The association will use USDA funding to support innovative and unique outreach and technical assistance to provide education, alleviate hunger and improve poverty issues in Oklahoma.
The primary purpose of the grant being made available through the "2501 program" is to enhance the coordination of outreach, technical assistance and education efforts to reach socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. These grants enable organizations to help farmers and ranchers successfully acquire, own, operate and retain farms and ranches and to assure equitable participation in the full range of USDA programs. Local and regional impacts include participants setting up production and marketing cooperatives, improving environmental quality and improving their profitability and sustainability.
Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan, grant, or loan/grant agreement.