USDA announces $16.6M in grants for veteran farmers, ranchers

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 1:58 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Federal relief is available for disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in Mississippi.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday approximately $16.6 million in available funding to community-based and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and Tribal entities that help socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers own and operate successful farms.

Funding is possible through the USDA’s outreach and assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and veteran farmers and ranchers program. It’s also known as the 2501 program.

“USDA is committed to removing barriers to access,” said Dr. Lisa Ramirez, director of the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. “The 2501 program helps connect historically disadvantaged groups with USDA financing and programming.”

The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the program to include assistance to veteran farmers and ranchers. The 2018 Farm Bill increased mandatory funding for the program through the fiscal year 2023.

With 2501 program grants, nonprofits, institutions of higher education and federally recognized Indian Tribes can support socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers through education, training, farming demonstrations, and conferences on farming and agribusiness, and by increasing access to USDA’s programs and services.

Eligible 2501 applicants include not-for-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and a range of higher education institutions serving African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities.

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