USDA’S AGENCY REALIGNMENT IS A GOOD MOVE FOR HISTORICALLY UNDERSERVED FARMERS

Old Gjerpen Farm Founder Richard Larson

Photo Credit: USDA

Original Article: November 17, Sustainable Agriculture Blog

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a major change, one for which many have been waiting for eight years. Established in the 2008 Farm Bill, USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) was intended to give beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged farmers a stronger advocate within USDA, and to better connect with the agency’s programs and services.

Unfortunately, OAO has not always been adequately empowered to serve beginning, minority, and disadvantaged farmers to its fullest potential. The announcement this week that the office would now reside within and report directly to the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture is a big one because it underscores the historic and ongoing importance of OAO’s mission.

NSAC applauds this important change and the signaling by USDA of its rededication... (Read rest of article here)