WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the agency will provide approximately $75 million in American Rescue Plan funding to 20 organizations to provide technical assistance to connect underserved producers with USDA programs and services.

Organizations were selected for their proven track records working with underserved producer communities, such as veterans, beginning farmers, limited resource producers, and producers living in high-poverty areas, according to a news release. These organizations will work with underserved producer communities on business and tax planning, financial assistance planning, market planning, farmer advocacy and business curriculum development.

The cooperative agreements are an initial step in deploying American Rescue Plan resources in response to demands for more immediate assistance on farm business planning, market development and access assistance, tax planning and land access assistance, to help underserved producers succeed, according to the news release.

“As we build back better than we were before USDA is listening to our customers, and we are proud to offer new tools to help address inequities for underserved farmers and ranchers through the American Rescue Plan,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We are committed to making each of our programs equitable so all can benefit from the opportunities USDA investments and programs help create. Our planned work with these important cooperators will help USDA achieve these important goals.”

A full list of cooperators is available at: www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/section-1006-list-of-cooperative-agreements.docx. Cooperators will work with other cooperator organizations and USDA to address the needs of underserved producer communities. For example:

  • The National Black Farmers Association will collaborate with organizations and will provide financial and business assistance and opportunities to receive USDA program technical support.
  • The Intertribal Agriculture Council will lead training and technical assistance with Native American farmers, ranchers and forest landowners across the country.
  • The Farmer Veteran Coalition will coordinate with other cooperators to focus on the needs of farmer and rancher veteran members.

Recognizing that other organizations across the country are needed to provide underserved producers with critical technical assistance and training to address producer needs ranging from business development to access to credit, land, and markets, USDA will publish a Request for Applications for additional technical assistance partnerships in late December, according to the news release.

All recipients will work with USDA in intensive training and collaboration activities.

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