USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden this week announced the availability of $400,000 in funding to establish the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center.
The Center will be established at an 1890 Land-Grant college or university and will specialize in policy research impacting socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. Qualifying universities across the country are now invited to apply to be the Research Center's home.
"America's farmers and ranchers are more diverse than ever before and it is critical that our policies and programs reflect that," Harden said. "This Center will serve as another tool for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to get the resources they need. It will also assist us in our efforts to help beginning farmers from all walks of life get their start in agriculture."
According to the 2012 Agricultural Census, minority and historically under-represented communities are part of the continued growth among new and beginning farmers and ranchers. According to the Census, 22% of all farmers were beginning farmers in 2012. That means 1 out of every 5 farmers operated a farm for fewer than 10 years.
Universities seeking to apply to host the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center must apply in the next 30 days.
Proposals must be received by September 11, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. EST, on the federal grants website.