USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden on Tuesday announced availability of more than $9 million in outreach and technical assistance, made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, for minority farmers and ranchers and military veterans that are new to farming and ranching.
The funding is provided through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program.
It will enable community groups and other partners to assist minority or veteran farmers in acquiring, owning and operating farms.
Harden made the announcement at the White House during the Future of American Agriculture Champions of Change event.
"The 2501 Program enables USDA to bring more farmers and ranchers into American agriculture by partnering with the institutions, land-grant universities and other organizations that work directly with these diverse communities," Harden said. "Through these critical partnerships, we will build a stronger agricultural future for our country and for the world."
The 2501 Program, administered by the USDA's Office of Advocacy and Outreach, has distributed more than $57 million to 188 partners since 2010.
The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the program and expanded targeted communities to include military veterans.
Applications for 2501 Program funding will be accepted through August 25, 2014, and must be submitted online.