November 21, 2011
On November 17th, USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Grant Program (OASDFR), also known as the “Section 2501” program. For purposes of this program, USDA defines a socially disadvantaged (SDA) farmer, rancher, or agricultural producer as someone from a group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as a member of the group, and includes African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
This notice announces the availability of fiscal year 2012 funding for the program, and encourages all eligible entities to apply for either new awards or supplemental funding for existing awards. Eligible applicants include higher education institutions, tribal governments, and community-based non-profit organizations. This program will assist these entities in providing outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Some of the specific priority areas for grants that will be funded under this program include:
This program was established in the 1990 farm bill, and was strengthened greatly in the 2008 farm bill, which moved OASDFR to the Office of Advocacy and Outreach and authorized $75 million in mandatory funding from 2009 to 2012. NSAC has advocated for continued and expanded funding for this program, along with several other programs that benefit socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
USDA estimates that approximately 70 awards will be granted in the FY 2012 round of funding, accounting for the $19 million available in program funding. Applicants can apply for grants up to $800,000 through this RFA. Applications are being accepted until December 21, 2011. To access the online application, click here.
To view a synopsis of the program, please visit NSAC’s page on Outreach for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers.