USDA Announces Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is awarding funds to tribes, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations throughout the country to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. The awards are being made through the Outreach Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) Competitive Grants Program, known as the "2501 program." "USDA and the Obama administration is 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 primary purpose of the grants 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.

Fiscal year 2010 awards include:

* Alabama A&M University, AL, NC, SC, GA, LA, MS $300,000

* Alabama State Association of Cooperatives, AL $400,000

* Alcorn State University , MS $300,000

* Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corporation, AR, LA MS $400,000

* Association of Africans Living in Vermont, Inc., VT $100,000

* College of Micronesia, Federated States of Micronesia $200,000

* Community Teamwork Inc., MA $200,000

* Delaware State University, DE $400,000

* East Arkansas Enterprise Comm. Inc., AR $400,000

* First Nations Development Institute , CO, AZ $250,000

* Florida A&M University, FL $400,000

* Giziibii Resource Conservation and Development Association, MN $14,300

* The Hopi Foundation, AZ $100,000

* Indian Nations Conservation Alliance, MT, $400,000

* Intertribal Agriculture Council, MT $300,000

* Kentucky State University, KY $400,000

* Langston University, OK $400,000

* Mississippi Association of Cooperatives, MS $300,000

* Micro-Enterprise Institute, LA $400,000

* National Audubon Society, DBA Audubon of Arkansas, AR, LA, MS $400,000

* National Immigrant Farming Initiative, Inc., DC, NM, FL, TX, MN, ME, MD, $300,000

* Neighborhood Housing Service of Dimmit County, Inc., TX $250,000

* North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, NC $200,000

* North South Institute, FL, AL, GA $300,000

* Operation Spring Plant, Inc., NC, OK, SC, PA, MD, $400,000

* Pacific Gateway, HI $400,000

* Puerto Rico Agricultural Extension Service, PR $400,000

* Regents of New Mexico University, NM $400,000

* Seven Harvest Inc., AR, TN, MS $400,000

* Southern University Ag Research & Extension Center, LA $300,000

* Tennessee State University, TN $400,000

* Tuskegee University, AL $400,000

* University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, AR, MS $400,000

* University of Hawaii, HI, Pacific Islands: Guam, Republic of Palau, Northern Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia $400,000

* University of Maryland Eastern Shore, MD $300,000

* Virginia State University, VA $400,000

* Whitaker Small Farm Group, NC $200,000

* Winston County Self Help Cooperative, MS, AL $300,000

* Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council, WI $300,000

Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan, grant, or loan/grant agreement.

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