November 10, 2011
On November 3, USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) submitted a Request for Applications (RFA) for its Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Grant Program (OASDFR).
The notice says a total of approximately $10 million for FY 2012 is available. The maximum amount of federal funding granted to eligible recipients shall not exceed $800,000 for two tear project proposals, and $400,000 for one year proposals. Proposals requesting federal funding exceeding $400,000 annually will not be considered for funding. OAO anticipates awarding between 15-20 competitive grants through this RFA.
OASDFR, otherwise known as the “Section 2501” program after its Farm Bill section number, is intended to assist community‐based organizations, higher education institutions and eligible tribal entities in providing outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The overall goal of the program is to assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in a linguistically appropriate manner in owning and operating farms, ranches and nonindustrial forest lands while increasing their participation in USDA-administered agricultural programs.
The program was authorized by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, and expanded and provided with mandatory funding in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Projects are intended to build lasting relationships between USDA and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to improve their ability to start and maintain successful agricultural businesses. Despite the program’s success, program funding has not been sufficient to reach counties throughout the U.S. where outreach is needed, making this a highly competitive program.
Proposals must be received by 5:00 pm EST on December 12, 2011 to be considered for funding. Please visit the Grants.gov application site to submit a proposal.