ALABAMA A&M, TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY AWARDED GRANTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner announced today that Alabama A&M University and Tuskegee University were among 21 institutions and organizations to share in a total of $5 million in grants to assist disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Both A&M and Tuskegee will receive $300,000 each to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance to assure increased opportunities for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
"Producers who participate in these projects tend to increase their farm or ranch income, continue farming or ranching longer, navigate through the loan process more rapidly, and they are less likely to go out of business," said Conner. "This program reaches out to producers who might not traditionally come to us and encourages diverse participation in the full range of USDA programs."
The grants are administered by USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) as part of the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) program, also referred to as the 2501 program. A socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher is one of a group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice without regard to their individual qualities.
OASDFR is an annually run competitive grants program and eligible recipients include institutions of higher education and community-based non-profit organizations that provide capacity-building training and assistance to local farmers and ranchers.
OASDFR grants have had many positive local and regional impacts, as program participants form production and marketing cooperatives, participate in local policy-making, improve environmental quality and improve profitability and sustainability.