The Office of Advocacy and Outreach coordinates with USDA agencies to enhance access to USDA programs by minority and veteran farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. In addition, this program area administers the Outreach and Technical Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (the 2501 Program) which was transferred from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The primary purpose of the 2501 Program is to enhance the coordination of outreach, technical assistance, and education efforts, to reach socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in a linguistically appropriate manner and to improve their participation in the full range of USDA programs. The program was provided $10 million in yearly funding over the life of the 2014 Farm Bill. This program area also manages the Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers. The advisory committee provides advice to the Secretary of Agriculture on the administration of 2501 Program. Moreover, this program area also provides recommendations on how to increase participation of socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in USDA programs and advises the Secretary about civil rights activities of USDA as such activities affect USDA programs.
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Minority and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers Assistance (MSDA)
The Farm Service Agency has established the office of Minority and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers Assistance (MSDA), to work with minority and socially disadvantaged farmers who have concerns and questions about loan applications filed with local offices.