USDA Allocates $45M For Underserved and Veteran Farmers, Ranchers, and Foresters

USDA Urban Agriculture Grants Climate Smart Farm Loan

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently announced that $45 million will be made available to aid underserved and veteran farmers, ranchers, and foresters in their efforts to own and operate successful farms. This funding is a part of the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, commonly called the 2501 Program.

The 2501 Program, administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, aims to enable individuals to access and participate in various USDA programs and services. In addition, this funding initiative is intended to increase the reach and effectiveness of these programs.

Recipient organizations can use the funding for various services, including providing education, training, farming demonstrations, and organizing conferences to enhance access to USDA’s programs and services.

The 2501 Program, active for over 30 years, has historically focused on helping underserved farmers and ranchers who have faced service barriers due to racial or ethnic prejudice. The program was expanded in 2014 to include assistance to veteran farmers and ranchers. In addition, the 2018 Farm Bill extended mandatory funding for the program through fiscal year 2023, with a standing provision for $25 million per year after that.

The USDA has specified that eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, federally recognized tribes, and tribal organizations, and higher education institutions that serve veteran farmers and diverse communities. The application deadline is July 25, 2023, and submissions must be made via

Recent program grantees include the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation. 

Through the 2501 Program, the USDA continues to reach and support underserved farmers and ranchers, striving for greater inclusivity within the agricultural industry.

Image provided by USDA

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