The overall goal of the 2501 Program is to encourage and assist underserved farmers and ranchers, military veteran farmers and ranchers, and beginning farmers and ranchers with owning and operating farms and ranches and in participating equitably in the full range of agricultural, forestry, and related programs offered by USDA. It also includes projects that develop underserved youths' interest in agriculture. In partnership with the OPPE, eligible entities may compete for funding on projects that provide education and training in agriculture, agribusiness, forestry, agricultural-related services, and USDA programs, and to conduct outreach initiatives designed to accomplish those goals. This partnership includes working closely with OPPE, attend OPPE-led events in your proposed service territory, and collaborate with USDA Service Centers located in your state (Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development).
Proposals must be consistent with requirements stated in 7 U.S.C. 2279(c)(3). Under this statute, the outreach and technical assistance program funds shall be used exclusively:
1. To enhance coordination of the outreach, technical assistance, education, and training efforts authorized under USDA agriculture programs;
2. To assist the Secretary of Agriculture in:
a. reaching current and prospective socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, veteran farmers or ranchers, or beginning farmers and ranchers in a linguistically appropriate manner; and
b. improving the participation of those farmers and ranchers in USDA programs.
There are five programmatic mission areas that support the goals of the 2501 Program. Proposals from eligible entities must address at least two of the five following programmatic mission areas as they develop their goals:
i. Assist socially disadvantaged, veteran farmers and ranchers, including beginning farmers and ranchers in owning and operating successful farms and ranches;
ii. Improve participation among socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers and ranchers in USDA programs;
iii. Build relationships between current and prospective farmers and ranchers who are socially disadvantaged or veterans and USDA’s local, state, regional, and National offices;
iv. Assist in reaching current and prospective socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, or forest landowners in a linguistically appropriate manner; and
v. Assist with identifying problems and barriers socially disadvantaged farmers experience and working towards minimizing or alleviating those issues to enable their equitable participation in USDA programs.
Estimated Total Program Funding: