Underserved communities of agricultural producers have not received the level of technical support that would benefit the launch, growth, resilience and success of their agricultural enterprises.
Without meaningful technical assistance, producers are more likely to operate smaller, lower-revenue farms, have weaker credit histories and may lack clear title to their agricultural land, which increases the difficulty in securing loans to own or operate their businesses and to ensure the success and resiliency of their operations.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it is accepting grant applications for the American Rescue Plan Technical Assistance Investment Program to provide historically underserved farmers, ranchers and forest landowners technical support in accessing USDA programs and services.
“As part of USDA’s American Rescue Plan investments, we want to ensure that those who have been traditionally underserved by USDA have the same understanding and technical support needed to access USDA programs and services,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This is one of many steps USDA is taking as we continue to break down barriers and be more inclusive of all USDA customers.”
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will provide, at a minimum, a $25 million investment of American Rescue Plan funds. The deadline to submit applications is June 1, 2022.
Common barriers experienced by small or underserved farms and ranches include challenges with accessing federal agricultural programs, including receiving information about available programs, difficulty navigating complex application processes, lack of standardization and transparency, limited knowledge of qualification requirements for all programs and complicated reporting requirements.
To address these inequities, technical assistance projects can provide technical support in many key areas:
- Targeted agriculture financial training.
- Agriculture mediation access.
- Outreach about USDA programs and services.
- Agriculture cooperative development training and support.
- Capacity building training and land access technical support.
- Targeted support related to agriculture production.
- Agriculture credit and capital access.
Source: USDA, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.