April 23, 2010
Yesterday’s Federal Register announced the call for nominations to the Minority Farmer Advisory Committee, organized by the Office of Advocacy and Outreach at the USDA.
The Secretary will select no more than 15 committee members including at least four socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, two nonprofit representatives and two representatives from colleges or universities with experience working with minority farmers and ranchers, and at least two civil rights professionals.
The committee was established in the 2008 Farm Bill to advise the Secretary on the 2501 Program (Outreach and Technical Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers), on methods of outreach to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to increase participation in other USDA programs, and on civil rights issues.
Organizations or individuals can send a letter of nomination, or a completed advisory committee membership form to Elaine Hauhn at the Office of Advocacy and Outreach by fax (202-720–2191) or by mail:
Nominations are due by May 24, 2010.
On a somewhat related note, staff at the Office of Advocacy and Outreach inform us that they expect to announce the new members appointed to the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers within the next few weeks. The group will then meet later this year to formulate recommendations to the Secretary for advancing economic opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers through policy and program reform.
The newly-forming Office of Advocacy and Outreach at USDA, created as part of the Miscellaneous Title of the 2008 Farm Bill and backed by NSAC, will oversee USDA policy and outreach on small farms, beginning farmers and ranchers, minority farmers, and farmworkers. Announcements on staffing for the new agency are expected in May.