U.S. Farm Bill of 2014 Section 2501 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program
The Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, otherwise known as Section 2501 of the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill, provides funding for institutions that work with historically disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers – including Black, Native American, Asian American, and Latino/a producers. The program aims to ensure that these farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to access, operate, and retain farmland. Moreover, the program allocates funding for outreach that allows socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers to maintain equitable participation in all USDA programs.
The 2501 program is an important step in recognizing long-standing structural barriers for farmers of color and other socially disadvantaged producers (Ayazi and Elsheikh 2015). While this program has supported several growers in rural and urban communities across the country (NSAC 2016a), recent funding cuts in the 2014 Farm Bill and the inclusion of veteran groups means that resources are spread thinner as the budget decreases. Despite the challenges posed by this program, Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) received nearly $200,000 to assist with the Multicultural Farmer Network and Veterans in Ag Network (NSAC 2016b).
Priority 19 – Increase farmers access to capital
Ayazi, H., & Elsheikh, E. (2015). The US Farm Bill: Corporate Power and Structural Racialization in the United States Food System. Berkeley, California: Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley.
NSAC (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition). (October 2016a). “Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers (Section 2501).” National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Retrieved on September 21, 2016 from LINK.
NSAC (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition). (October 2016b). “USDA Grants Support Programs Serving Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers.” National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Retrieved on September 21, 2016 from LINK.