OASDFR 2501 PROGRAM Small and diverse farmers in more than 35 States have benefited from the 2501: Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR)Historic program helps USDA reach forgotten farmersThe OASDFR has served Many community-‐based competitive grants. The program organizations, 1890 and 1994 land has served more than 100,000 more than 100,000 rural grant institutions, and Hispanic rural constituents and has been an constituents. Serving Colleges and Universities invaluable resource for the more fought to ensure that this vital than 35 states.The Outreach and Assistance program as well as other equity Program for Socially and access provisions were Meet the FarmersDisadvantaged Farmers and developed and passed in the Minority Farmers Rights section of www.flatsmentorfarm.org fl t t fRanchers (OASDFR) is a historic Alabama, South Carolinaand remarkably successful the 1990 FarmBill and subsequent and Montana 2program adopted in Section 2501 legislation. In the 2008 Farm Bill, Massachusetts 3of the 1990 Farm Bill. It was part the program began to achieve Alabama 4of a years-‐long effort to halt land broader success with increased Florida 6loss by diverse producers funding. Notably in FY 2010 and New Mexico 7traditionally underserved by the 2011, the OASDFR Program North Carolina, South CarolinaUS Department of Agriculture. awarded a total of $38 million in and Michigan 8 2012 In the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress expanded the 2501; OASDFR Program with direct funding of $75 million for 4 years, an investment that has opened the doors of the USDA to thousands of new producers who are now contributing to the economic base of their towns and cities, and providing fresh food to diverse Farm Bill communities across the nation. The 2012 Farm Bill now being considered on the Senate ﬂoor ﬁrst eliminated, then restored a fraction of the program’s funding ($25 million over 5 years) and made Veteran Support the Outreach Farmers and Ranchers eligible for the program. Veteran Farmers and Ranchers face many of the same and Assistance needs for one-on-one technical assistance the 2501 program has provided for years, and many of our Program for Socially nation’s diverse veteran producers are already served by the program. Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and HELP this important work continue. Ask your Senators to support Senator Tom Udall’s Amendment with Ranchers full funding for the 2501 program, and Senator Sherrod Brown’s amendment to provide support to related programs in order to successfully impact the lives of these farmers and their communities. .
Results from marketassessments found thatthe popularity of WhiteSweet Potatoes is 50%greater than theconventional orangeflesh Sweet Potatoethat the general publicis accustomed toconsuming. African American Producers in Alabama and South Carolina Build Links to Premium Markets Rural Advancement Fund (RAF) of the National Sharecroppers Fund, which has worked with African American producers since 1937, has established a new collaboration with World Farmers, Inc., the Mississippi Association of Cooperatives and Tuskegee University in launching the Georgia’s Sweet Potato Project that assists African-‐ American farmers in Alabama and South Carolina with the commercial production of sweet potatoes and the identiZication of premium markets for sale in the Northeast. American Indian Youth Open their Eyes to Indian Agriculture Beyond their Communities Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) (Billings, MT) – IAC convened 154 American Indian Youth, with 109 chaperones and 1192 other American Indian leaders from 2010-‐2011 to provide education and information on a wide range of USDA programs and services. According to IAC, the youth participants, in their evaluations, noted that “the outreach effort opened their eyes to Indian Agriculture beyond their communities, exposed them to many programs in USDA they had never heard of prior to their attendance and the majority were excited to put their new-‐found knowledge to work in an effort to grow safe healthy food for their families and communities.” Examples of rancher success stories include stories utilizing: EQIP, Conservation Stewardship Program, Organic CertiZication, Livestock Risk Protection, and the Non-‐Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Other presentations included: Ethno-‐Botany used for School and Community gardens, Farm to School Lunch Projects, Animal Disease Traceability, Agroforestry, and Getting Your Cows to Eat Weeds. Compiled by the Rural Coalition 2012 pg.2
OASDFR helps the Hmong farmers have been Flats Mentor Farm mentored for over 25 years at the Provide Technical Flats Mentor Farm Assistant Training in: (FMF) and are now mentoring recently 1. Equipment Use arrived African refugee farmers. Such as small tillers, BCSrototillers and Immigrant Farmers Develop Successful Family Farmsweedwackers. ! Providing Ethnic Fruits and Vegetables High in Demand2. Business Development Many of the immigrant and refugee farmers at the Flats Mentor Farm and Marketing (FMF) in Lancaster Massachusetts are recent arrivals native to Africa, Asia, Brazil and Mexico who are trying to use their extensive 3. Market Competition vs. agricultural skills and knowledge to develop successful family farm enterprises to sell culturally appropriate fruits, vegetables and herbs Cooperation to diverse North American markets, speciZically Farmers Markets and other direct marketing outlets. Flats Mentor Farm has worked with The farmers at Flats Mentor hundreds of socially disadvantaged immigrant and refugee farmers to work together to have only access EQIP and other NRCS – USDA programs. one Flats Mentor stand and As a result of 2501 funding, Flats Mentor Farm has been able to build each of the 40 Farmers farmer capacity by increasing Farmers Market participation from 18 Markets in the Boston area, immigrant farmers to 35, improving the overall quality of produce for cooperating to sell different market and providing comprehensive technical assistance trainings to assortments of fruits of farmers.vegetables instead of similarfruits and vegetables in IMPORTANT CASE STUDIEScompetition with each other. In 2010, Eight (8) mostly Asian immigrant Income for farm families at producers were helped through the the Flats has steadily application process by Flats Mentor increased. Farm, qualiGied for high tunnels, which were constructed and allowed the producers to better utilize resources 4. Risk Management especially in the wake of the 2011 hurricanes when they were able to restart production. The producers at the Flatsare trained in methods to An immigrant woman farmer from reduce risks from production Burundi who expressed interest in and flooding, even in the applying for a high tunnel was assisted throughout the NRCS application process absence of insurance by Flats Mentor Farm including initiating products that work for the and fulGilling qualiGication, establishment 60 New African Farmers are farming atdiversity of specialty crops and maintenance requirements. Flats Mentor Farm this year.produced. Compiled by the Rural Coalition 2012 pg.3
IPSUM: Vivamus est ipsum,RESULTS vehicula nec, feugiat rhoncus, accumsan id, nisl.of the 600 farmers andlandowners thatparticipated:Only 15% have successfully utilized USDA programs in the past during the program more than 450 producers were matched with relevant USDA program to address their Alabama State Association of Cooperatives (ASAC) Helpsresource needs such as FSA, Remaining African American Family Farmers andNRCS and others. Landholders Fully Utilize their Land BaseProducers also participated in three CO-‐OP One-‐on-‐One African American family farmers and landholders in eight western trainings (group focused) Alabama Black Belt counties and four adjoining counties who were working with Rural historically underserved and discriminated against long ago lost Cooperative Development faith in the US Department of Agriculture. staff of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives With support from the Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially More than 50 homeowners Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers, the Alabama State Association were referred to the PLBA-‐ of Cooperatives (ASAC) is reconnecting HDC for housing assistance. producers in the Black Belt counties of Pickens, Sumter, Choctaw, Greene, Hale, 26 Forest Landowners to the Marengo, Perry, and Wilcox; the four Federation’s Forestry (4) adjoining counties, Clarke, Monroe, Program. Washington and Dallas (Figure 1) with the ofZices, programs and services of 5 non-‐farm businesses USDA. As a result, producers are more referred to Tinancial institution like Seedco likely to use these programs and Financial, and the local Small services to retain, expand and fully Business Administration. utilize their land base, and are building cooperatives, housing and other ventures that expand the economic base of their communities. The Alabama State Association of Cooperatives (ASAC) is the Alabama The 8 counties in Alabama afZiliate of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and has been where AAC is working include engaged in technical assistance and support for cooperatives and credit half of all the remaining unions in the state since 1970. A signiZicant part of our mission is outreach, African-American farmers in technical assistance, education, resource development and other services the state (included in the to the African-‐American farmers, landowners and rural community latest 2007 Census of residents who comprise the membership of these cooperatives, credit Agriculture). This area is also unions and other self-‐help non-‐proZit associations.the “cradle of the civil rightsmovement in Alabama andAmerica” where the historic The 2501 Program is the foundation for much of the assistance we provide Selma to Montgomery Voting to farmers and other rural residents in the areas of record-‐keeping, credit, Rights March was held in conservation, cooperative development and other technical services.1965. Compiled by the Rural Coalition 2012 pg.4
The Ellington’s Farm in Alabama Rural Development and the Allen Family Receiving less than 1,000 a month on SSI-Disability payments, Mr. Thomas Allen of Marengo County was living in a trailer with his sister’s family after a divorce. With ASAC’s help, Mr. Allen was able to secureThe Ellington Family Farm one acre plasticulture vegetable site with a hoop house for extending the a $53,164, 33-year SectionElijah and Joyce Ellington live in the growth season for vegetables. 502 Housing loan to build aSumterville Community of Sumter two bedroom home for himCounty, Alabama adjoining the and his two children that The Ellingtons received overMississippi state line. They own less live with him part-time, on $30,000 in 90%cost share three acres of family ownedthan 100 acres in several plots. assistance from NRCS to develop land. His monthly paymentWhen ASAC began working with these farm enterprises, which Mrs. for the house is $232.84,this family they had a small cattle which includes an escrow Ellington handles while her husbandherd (less than 20 brood cows) and fund for taxes and is away at his truck driving job thatused most of their land for hay and insurance. Interest on the include: loan is at 3.25%, whichpasture. Mr. Ellington is an over-the- - goat fencing makes his home affordableroad truck driver, who is often away - fertilization & improvement and comfortable on a smallfrom home for several days at a income. - animal shed & feedingtime. Mrs. Ellington was a - pipeline and wateringhomemaker who was interested in Mr. Thomas is proud of his - water meter new home that a localfarming operations that she could - hoop house African-American contractorhandle without everyday assistance - plasticulture with micro-irrigation who provided employmentfrom her husband. for a local crew of - one acre construction workers built.Through the ASAC’s 2501 program, They are now working for The Ellingtons have improved theirwe helped this family to devise and other families we have livelihood and quality of life through assisted in securing USDAdevelop a farm and conservation these programs. They are involved in Rural Development loanplan for the full productive utilization funding for housing new organizing a goat producerof their land. We helped the construction and major cooperative and vegetableEllingtons secure cost share rehabilitation. None of this marketing enterprises in westassistance from USDA Natural would be possible without Alabama. They have assisted their the outreach and technicalResource and Conservation Service grandchildren and other community assistance provided in the(NRCS) for a woodland grazing youth in goat shows and other 2501 program.program for goat production and a community building activities. Compiled by the Rural Coalition 2012 pg.5
In Central Florida, the District Conservationist is working with FWAF to educate producers on how the completion of a conservation plan can help them meet state requirements to reduce chemical runoff from fern production into waterways. Farmworkers of Florida creates mutual one county committee in the southern part of the state and will run for a regular seat in the next county benefits amongst Small Family Farm committee election. Another was elected to Zill an open seat on a Conservation District Board and will Latinos and USDA run for that seat in the next election. In central Hundreds of Small Family Latino Farmers in Central Florida, the District Conservationist is working with FWAF to educate producers on how the completion of and South Florida are Provided Critical Outreach and a conservation plan can help them meet state information regarding the range of USDA programs, requirements to reduce chemical runoff from fern services and initiatives for socially disadvantaged and production into waterways. To date, the program has beginning farmers and ranchers. The program for been mutually beneZicial to both USDA and the Latino outreach to these producers was launched by the The family farm community in Florida: USDA now has a Farmworkers Association of Florida (FWAF) in better understanding of the unique needs of Latino Apopka, Florida, an organization that has been family farmers in Florida and the Latino family farm building power for farmworkers and farmers in community have begun to participate in USDA Florida for over 25 years. Many of these producers programs, and have also identiZied the collective had never approached USDA offices in the past. needs of their community and the importance of Others had approached USDA for assistance in community organizing in the development of farm disasters but had not been educated of the need to cooperatives. sign up for disaster or insurance program before losses, and to report losses afterwards. National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association and Rural Coalition helped FWAF establish direct relationships with USDA offices to resolve issues that arose and to educate producers. “Our farmers have all the knowledgeFWAF also assisted Latino family farmers with they need to farm, the only thing that is missing issuccessfully navigating the process to register their the access and outreach in our language.farm with USDA and to apply for programs with Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources and Since FWAF started outreach with this program weConservation Service. have reached 120-130 mostly Latino producers in Miami alone.”One Latino farmer with long experience in disaster - Elvira Carvajal (Organizer FWAF)programs has been accepted as Minority Advisor on Compiled by the Rural Coalition 2012 pg.6
FARMER TESTIMONIALS from the New Mexico Acequia Association (NMAA)Marisela Trujillo was able to learn the reasons her application was denied. With A producer in Chimayo, NM, a some consultation from NMAA, village famous for its Zlavorful Elaine completed the necessary chile. Although there is a rich paperwork by the required agricultural history in the area, deadlines. Her application for Marisela and most other farmers the EQIP program was accepted in the area had never and she is now in the process of participated in USDA. Marisela implementing erosion control requested assistance from NMAA practices on her land. Marisela Trujilloto assess the needs on her small !farm and to advise on USDA Linsey Padilla programs. After some consultations with NMAA staff, A new entry farmer from Dilia, “The acequias of theMarisela was successful in New Mexico purchased 100 acres present-day Southwestsecuring assistance through the of irrigated land that had been combine MoorishNRCS-‐EQIP program to line a fallow for many years. He was in traditions with Nativepond and to construct a high need of USDA resources to clear tunnel for season extension. Her and level the land and to install a American irrigation andfarm operation is now in its Zirst pipeline but he was reluctant to agricultural techniques.season using the high tunnel for apply because he believed that They have shaped theseason extension and water from USDA programs were only for the pond for drip irrigation. larger growers. NMAA staff landscape, culture, and informed him about the communities of mestizos,Elaine Montaño eligibility requirements and genizaros, and mexicanos advised on the application (collectively referred to asElaine lives in Anton Chico in process. When he approached NRCS initially, they were short the Indo-Hispanic Guadalupe County, New Mexico. She had applied staffed and advised him to return people).”unsuccessfully for USDA after the deadline for EQIP. After programs in the past to help her NMAA intervention and -Paula Garcia Executive contacting the District with erosion control and land Director (NMAA)leveling. After a local workshop Conservationist directly, Mr. on USDA programs hosted by Padilla was invited back NMAA, Elaine contacted NMAA immediately to submit the staff for assistance. NMAA staff application. He has since been obtained her permission to accepted into the program and review her Zile with NRCS and his project is well underway. New Mexico Acequia Association NMAA (Santa Fe, NM) has introduced numerous socially disadvantaged farmers to a range of NRCS programs and services, specifically the successful EQIP Cost Share Program. Compiled by the Rural Coalition 2012 pg.7
! Savi Horne, Executive Director of LLPP with 2501 Technical Assistance Workshop Participants The Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural is an alliance of farmers, farmworkers, indigenous, migrant and working people from the United States, Mexico, Canada and beyond working together toward a new society that values unity, hope, people and the land. One of the most grassroots oriented and culturally diverse of rural organizations, our coalition has for more than 30 years linked our some 70 grassroots member organizations to Land Loss Prevention Project (LLPP) Works to Eliminate serve as a critical advocacy voice of a Legacy of Discrimination African-American, American-Indian, Asian-American, Euro-American, Latino and women farmers, ranchers, The 2501 grant afforded the Land Loss Prevention Project, the opportunity farmworkers and rural communities in to connect with African-‐American farming communities in North Carolina, the US. Together we seek to build a South Carolina, and Michigan. By offering workshops to potential Pigford II more just and sustainable food system which brings fair returns to minority claimants, we were also able to share information about the various USDA and other small farmers and rural services available to these communities. communities, establishes just and fair working conditions for farm workers, Due to outreach in North Carolina, LLPP were able to identify thousands of protects the environment and brings African-‐American farmers who appear to have erroneously been denied safe and healthy food to all consumers. eligibility to Zile claims. However, our efforts created an opportunity for a more promising outcome for these farmers. In part due to the numerous shortcomings of the Pigford claims process, LLPP observed a lingering perception of limited access to USDA programs and services in these RURAL COALITION has moved! communities. BECOME A MEMBER The Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural is an alliance of farmers, While county level ofZices and working could be the farmworkers, indigenous, migrant and staff people from available, the community 1029 Vermont Avenue believes States, Mexico, Canada and beyond working together to- United these services are not fully accessible which undermines their Suite 601 consumption of the full range ohope, people and the re offered. By creatively and ward a new society that values unity, f services that a land. Contact:WashingtonDC, 20005 consistently engaging African-‐American farming communities which Phone: 202-628-7160 1029 Vermont Ave, NW, Suite continue to work to: Together we perceive gaps in USDA services at the local level, the 2501 Fax: 202-393-7160 601 program can truly eliminate the legacy on f discrimination. • Educate rural communities to influence and ACT o policy.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • Bring equitable access and fair returns for our diverse small farmers, ranch-202-628-7160 Through surveying current and prospective Latino farmers in North ers, and rural communities.Washington, DC 20005 Carolina, LLPP iand dignified working conditions fortfarmworkers. • Establish just dentified a substantial echnological divide in accessing Check our Webpage forhttp://ruralco.org updates! information about USDA programs and services. For example, some USDA For more information contact: • Care for the earth & bring safe and healthy food to consumers.http://ruralco.org website links that purportedly connect to resources in Spanish actually • Build unity & beneficial relationships in this country and beyond. connect to English-‐only resources. www.facebook.com/RuralCoalition With strong roots in the movements for human, civil, indigenous and Farmworker rights, Rural Coalition members share the belief youtube.com/user/ruralcoalition While rural communities everywhereas a whole experience limited Internet that rural communities can have a better future. @ruralco The Rural Coalicionmany current and prospective SDFRs have availability, Newsletter: “Plow to Print” is published several times annually. Share your comments and suggestions with appropriate additional barriers related to linguistically flickr.com/photos/ruralco email@example.com. Wend ato hear from technological training. resources a want ccess to you and share your stories. Compiled by the Rural Coalition 2012 pg.8 Staff Highlight : American Sustainable Business Council’s (ASBC) Sustainable Agriculture Intern