THE United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made known its plans to issue a $9.4 million in grants to provide enhanced training, outreach and technical assistance to underserved veteran farmers and ranchers.
Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue made the revelation in a press statement made available to the Nigerian Tribune.
According to him, the funding is available through the USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Programme managed by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).
“From the beginning of this administration, USDA has focused on increasing rural prosperity and how to best serve our veterans and underserved farmers and ranchers. Helping those who served our country and assisting the disadvantaged is at the heart of our motto at USDA to ‘Do Right and Feed Everyone,” Perdue noted.
He further stated that: “The 2,501 grants ensure veterans and underserved farmers and ranchers are well positioned to start their careers in agriculture and continue to give back to the American people. These resources will help strengthen the American economy and provide assistance for those who need it most,” he concluded.
The 2,501 programme was created through the 1990 Farm Bill to help socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and foresters, who have historically experienced limited access to USDA loans, grants, training, and technical assistance. Provisions were expanded in the 2014 Farm Bill to include outreach and technical assistance to military veterans.
Grants are awarded to higher education institutions and non-profit organisations to extend USDA’s engagement efforts in underserved communities.
This is accomplished through various activities including, but not limited to, conferences, workshops, demonstrations on various farming techniques, and connecting underserved farmers and ranchers to USDA local officials to increase awareness of our programs and services while filling the needs for increased partnerships.
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