USA – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a significant financial injection of approximately US$22.3 million to support underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers. 

This funding, channeled through USDA’s 2501 Program, targets community-based and nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, and tribal entities dedicated to assisting these groups in owning and operating successful agricultural ventures.

Lisa Ramírez, the Director of the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE) at USDA, highlighted the crucial role played by 2501 Program partners in local communities and rural areas. 

These partners serve as linchpins in extending USDA’s outreach efforts to underserved communities, offering essential training, technical assistance, and connections to USDA programs and services.

The 2501 Program has existed for over 30 years and has been a beacon of hope for underserved farmers and ranchers. It has collaborated with organizations nationwide, empowering these groups and ensuring their sustained assistance. 

Initially established in the 1980s, the program was expanded in 2014 to include support for veteran farmers and ranchers, and further bolstered through increased funding in the 2018 Farm Bill, guaranteeing continued support through fiscal year 2024.

Through 2501 funding, organizations have been able to conduct a wide range of activities. These include education, training, farming demonstrations, and conferences on farming techniques and agribusiness.

Since 2010, the program has progressively enhanced access to USDA’s offerings, awarding 615 grants exceeding US$194 million.

One notable example of the program’s impact is Farm to Table Guam, a grantee from fiscal year 2023. This organization has provided business training, financial planning, and technical assistance in crop production and distribution to farmers in Guam. 

Similarly, the Quivira Coalition has been actively engaging rural producers in New Mexico through radio spots in multiple languages, disseminating knowledge about arid land stewardship practices and conservation.

Eligible applicants for this funding opportunity include not-for-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and various higher education institutions. Applications must be submitted through and are due by Friday, July 5, 2024.

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