USDA announces $27.6 million to support underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers through the 2501 program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $27.6 million in grants to provide training, outreach and technical assistance to underserved and veteran farmers, ranchers, and foresters to help them own and operate successful farms, ranches, and forest lands. Funding is made through USDA’s 2501 Program. The 2501 program is administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement .

“The 2501 Program demonstrates USDA’s commitment to improving the livelihoods of the country’s underserved and veteran farmers, ranchers and foresters by ensuring that they have access to and are equipped with the resources, knowledge and tools to be successful,” said OPPE Director Lisa Ramirez. “This program is part of USDA’s commitment to equity and inclusion for underserved communities and reducing barriers to USDA programs and resources.”

In 2023, USDA is investing $27.6 million in grants to 41 organizations in 27 states for their efforts to provide outreach and technical assistance to underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers. This funding is made available through the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

Among the 2501 Program awardees is the Recirculating Farms Coalition’s Growing Local Veterans in Agriculture project. This project will teach veterans about vertical farming and other agricultural innovations for a more equitable food system providing fresh, local, accessible food and stable, green jobs in New Orleans, Louisiana. Another 2501 award will go to the Pueblo of Isleta for the Farmers Outreach and Assistance Program for Tribal Communities initiative in Isleta Pueblo, New Mexico.

The 2501 Program was created through the 1990 Farm Bill to help underserved farmers, ranchers and foresters who have historically experienced limited access to USDA loans, grants, training and technical assistance. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the program to include veterans. Grants are awarded to higher education institutions and nonprofit and community-based organizations to extend USDA’s engagement efforts in underserved and veteran communities.

Projects funded under the 2501 Program include, but are not limited to, conferences, workshops, and demonstrations on various farming techniques, and connecting underserved farmers and ranchers to USDA resources and services. Since 2010, the 2501 Program has provided more than $221 million dollars to fund more than 657 projects.

More information about the funded projects is available at the OPPE website.

About the USDA
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.