Minority Women Farmers Grant
A little-known element of President Biden’s massive aid package would pay billions of dollars to disadvantaged farmers – minority women farmers grant in a way that some experts say there has been no legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Of the US $ 10.4 billion bailout plan intended to support agriculture, around half would go to disadvantaged farmers, according to estimates by the Farm Bureau, an industry organization. Around a quarter of disadvantaged women minority farmers. The money would provide debt relief, as well as grants, training, education, and other forms of land purchase assistance.
Minority Women Farmers Grant
The maximum grant amount organizations can apply for has been reduced to $ 450,000 for a three-year project, with the maximum grant capped at $ 150,000 per year. This is a change from previous funding rounds that allowed applicants to receive up to $ 250,000 per year. Applicants can apply for a free one-year extension if they are unable to complete their grant project.
Despite being a fraction of the $ 1.9 trillion bill passed in the Senate on Saturday, proponents say it is still a step in redressing an injustice after a century of ill-treatment of black farmers by the government and others.
Some say it is a form of redress for African Americans who have suffered a long history of racial oppression.
No match is required for applications and only one project proposal can be submitted per eligible institution.
As in previous years, the minority women farmers grant are awarded to three categories of applicants:
I. 1890 and 1994 Land Grant Colleges and Universities, Native American Tribes and Hispanic-Serving Institutions of Higher Education
II. Non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, including a network or coalition of community-based organizations, Native American tribes
III. Other academic institutions, nonprofits without a 501 (c) (3) status certification from the IRS, and other organizations
Minority Women Farmers Grant Program Priorities
Funds are awarded to organizations and institutions that have documented knowledge and experience with USDA programs and experience in providing education and support to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers or experienced farmers and ranchers during the 3-year period prior to filing a Application.
Priority is given to non-governmental and community-based organizations.
The USDA is soliciting project proposals that address the following program priorities for minority farmers, which have remained the same for the past two years:
- Supporting socially disadvantaged or experienced farmers and ranchers in owning and operating successful farms and ranches.
- Enhancing the participation of socially disadvantaged or experienced farmers and ranchers in USDA programs.
- Build relationships between current and future socially disadvantaged or experienced farmers and ranchers and the local, state, provincial, and national agencies of the USDA.
- Bring farm-related information to socially disadvantaged or experienced farmers and ranchers through innovative educational and technical support techniques.
- Introduction of agricultural training for socially disadvantaged young people and prospective farmers and ranchers in rural communities that are permanently at risk of poverty.
Lack of Grant Funding
While the Congress intends 17.5 million Congress. Announced just days before the 2501 program, the USDA launched minority women farmers grant by the Centers for Community Wealth that aims to address economic development in communities with persistent poverty.
Although the new program targets socially disadvantaged farmers, the program is broader (including incipient, limited resources and other historically underserved producers) and much more prescriptive in project design than the 2501 program.
The program requires organizations to set up local prosperity councils (with strict requirements for the partners who must be appointed to that council) rather than allowing organizations to design projects and structures that meet the needs of their communities.
While the minority women farmers grant program may have some merits on its own, it clearly goes beyond the scope and purpose of the 2501 program and should not be funded from the proposed 2501 budget.
NSAC urges Congress to ensure that these funds are diverted back into the 2501 program as intended and that future funds for the 2501 program support the long-term program of reaching disadvantaged and experienced farmers and ranchers and providing technical assistance afford.
The USDA hosted a webinar to answer stakeholder questions and concerns about the new Centers for Community Prosperity initiative, including how to align the program with the 2501 program. The webinar recording and FAQ will be published on the OPPE website.