USDA announced the award of 70 grants to tribes, educational institutions and non-profit organizations across the country to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and 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 continues working to help improve the success of minority farmers and ranchers in today's agricultural economy," said Vilsack. "These grants provide crucial assistance to help institutions who are helping American producers build capacity and increase profitability, and thereby create stronger rural communities."

As authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, the grants awarded today will bring $19 million in new and additional funding to programs and organizations to bolster assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. Grants will enable recipients to work with prospective farmers as they acquire, build and operate farms and ranches, revitalize the rural economy, and create new, sustainable economic opportunities in the region and nation.

Recipients include new awardees and qualifying programs and organizations that have previously benefited from Department assistance.

  • New Fiscal year 2012 awards:


  • Tyonek Tribal Conservation District: Native Alaskan Tribal Conservation Districts: Outreach and Education with USDA Programs



  • East Arkansas Enterprise Community (EAEC), Inc.: Building Capacity to Manage and Diversify Southeast Asian Agricultural Farming Operations in AR


  • Arkansas Land & Farm Development Corporation: Farm and Rural Outreach Support Service


  • Seven Harvest, Inc.: Revitalizing Farm Cooperative Businesses in the Mid-South


  • University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Program: To assist SDP in owning and operating successful farms and ranches; improve participation among SDP in USDA programs; introduce agriculture related information to SDP through innovative outreach and technical assistance techniques.


  • Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development: Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program


  • University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff:  To assist SDP in owning and operating successful farms and ranches; improve participation among SDP in USDA programs; introduce agriculture related information to SDP through innovative outreach and technical assistance techniques.



  • Developing Innovations in Navajo Education, Inc.: Native American Producer Success


  • Tohono O'odham Community Action (TOCA): Native Foodways Farmer and Food Outreach Program


  • Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona: Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers in Arizona



  • Hopland Band of Pomo Indians: TAP Meets TEK- Tribal Agriculture Program Meets Traditional Environmental Knowledge


  • Central Coast Agricultural Water Quality Coalition: Supporting effective communication between Ethnic Chinese Growers in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties and Agricultural Support and Regulatory Agencies and Organizations



  • First Nations Development Institute: Navajo-Hopi Technical Assistance Project



  • Albany State University: Environmental Assistance and Education for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers in the Eastern Plain of Georgia


  • Fort Valley State University: Landowners Initiative for Forestry Education (LIFE)



  • Tufts University:  Building Capacity for Massachusetts and New Hampshire Immigrant and Refugee Farmers



  • Maine Rural Partners:  Growing Micmac Farms and Farmers



  • Michigan State University: La Siembra: Enhancing participation of Socially Disadvantaged Latino Farmers in USDA programs



  • North Delta Produce Growers Association: To work aggressively with local farmers to scale up production and supply vegetables to the plant for value added product enhancement and subsequent delivery to buyers.


  • Mississippi Association of Cooperatives: Infusing, Informing and Implementing to Improve Farm Income


  • Alcorn State University: Small Farm Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Project


  • Jackson State University: Extend outreach and technical financial and business services to socially disadvantage farmers. 


New Mexico

  • Regents of New Mexico State University:  To meet the needs of SDFR of targeted counties in northern and southern New Mexico. 


  • Farm to Table: Farm to Market: Building on Success, Farmers Teaching Farmers How to Grow Their Businesses and Enter New Markets



  • Board of Regents, NSHE, University of Nevada, Reno: Offer one-on-one outreach and assistance through training in Indian land tenure and water rights issues on reservations that can limit the ability for American Indian farmers to qualify for USDA programs.



  • The Asian Services in Action, Inc.: Refugee/Immigrant Agricultural Project of NE Ohio (RAP-NEO)


South Dakota

  • The Harvest Initiative, Inc.: Facilitating access to USDA agencies and programs on the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation



  • Plant It Forward: Refugee beginning farmer initiative.


  • The University of Texas - Pan American: Socially-Disadvantaged Producers Small-Acreage Initiative


  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service: Alternative Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture Targeting Small Hispanic Operators and College Agriculture Students in the Lower Rio Grande Valley


  • Texas/Mexico Border Coalition: South Texas Socially Disadvantaged Producers Outreach & Assistance Project



  • Utah State University: Outreach Assistance to Women and Hispanic Farmers in Procuring and Operating Small Farms in the West



  • Rural Community Development Resources: Promoting food safety & security by immigrant farmers and ranchers. 



  • Growing Power: To assist small and disadvantaged farmers in meeting their economic goals, sharing USDA information, and providing technical training and local food.


  • Oneida Tribe of Indians of WI: Native American Farming Food Initiative (NAFFI)