USDA announces $16 Million funding opportunity to support Veteran farmers and ranchers

The 2501 program offers grants to organizations that reach veterans


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The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced up to $16 million in available funding to help Veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers. This funding is granted by USDA’s 2501 program (Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program) to community-based organizations, not-for-profits and higher education institutions. The goal for applicants of these grants is to empower and support their agricultural communities with education, training, demonstrations, and conferences on farming and agribusiness, and by increasing access to USDA’s programs and services.

*Please note these grants may be awarded to organizations serving Veterans, not directly to individuals.

“All farmers and ranchers deserve equal access to USDA programs and services,” said Mike Beatty, director of the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. “2501 grants go a long way in fulfilling our mission to reach historically underserved communities and ensure their equitable participation in our programs.”

Also read: Veterans have opportunity to grow with USDA and farming resources

For 30 years, the 2501 Program has helped reach socially disadvantaged agricultural producers – farmers and ranchers who have experienced barriers to service due to racial or ethnic prejudice. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the program’s reach to Veterans. The 2018 Farm Bill boosts mandatory funding for the program through FY 2023. With 2501 Program grants, nonprofits, institutions of higher education and Indian Tribes can support underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers through education, training, demonstrations, and conferences on farming and agribusiness, and by increasing access to USDA’s programs and services.

Since 1994, the 2501 Program has awarded 451 grants totaling more than $103 million. Among recent 2501 projects, an FY 2018 grant awarded to the Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance in Okolona, Mississippi helped agricultural community leaders connect senior farmers and new and beginning farmers to preserve farming legacies. A 2501 grant to Florida International University helped veterans and young urban farmers build sustainable urban agriculture operations in South Florida.

Eligible 2501 Program applicants include not-for-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and a range of higher education institutions serving African-American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities.

The deadline for applications is August 15, 2019. See the request for applications for full details.

OPPE will host two teleconferences during the open period of this announcement to answer questions from interested applicants.

July 23, 2019, 2:00 p.m. ET, 800-230-1085, passcode: 469845

August 6, 2019, 2:00 p.m. ET, 800-230-1059, passcode:469846

Author

Tim Hudak

  joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.

Comments

  1. Hezekiah    

    thanks for the update…

  2. T salo    

    For all those asking questions, in the article is a link to “…request for application”. You need to click through to the usda.gov website and read the rules. Deadline is August 15.
    Apparently the author isn’t responding here, but someone is removing personal info like email and phone numbers. That information should NOT be posted in a public forum like this. Good luck.

  3. Clarence Homer Barrs    

    I am presently a board member of a 501.3c lapidary club North east Florida. We teach people how to do almost all forms of Lapidary skills, from Faceting ( the art of cutting Gem Stones) silver smiting, Cabing, glass blowing To all most any form that leads to jewelry making. We would like to be able to offer scholarships to Vets for these classes. Can you help with some help to funding and contact information.

  4. Roberto Rodriguez    

    Programs and funds to assist veterans Must have better watch dogs to keep middle men, and women vulture’s hands off and assure only veterans are recipients. Language in the funding program must say FUNDS SHALL BE USED FOR ON THE GROUND ASSISTANCE TO VETERANS ONLY. These $16 million are like a drop in a bucket, especially when the bucket is in the wrong hands.

  5. Jason Noel    

    Hello Fellow Vets. I am a combat veteran and still serving in the reserve. I am a small time beginner at farming, but I am more of a Conservationist/Hunter. I am looking for properties to hunt and would be willing to pay to hunt. So, if you are a farmer looking to make some additional income, please contact me.

    Thanks for what you do to keep the Ag legacy alive.

    1. Jason Noel    

      My contact email for the above post is

      rt820jn@yahoo.com

  6. Linwood Mercier    

    I’m 100% disable Veteran and I haved been looking for ways to get the ball rolling on achieving my dream as a farmer.

  7. D Villa    

    You all have to read the fine print

    *Please note these grants may be awarded to organizations serving Veterans, not directly to individuals.

    1. Douglass Morris    

      Being a veteran and $2.00 will get you a cup of coffee. It’s true you will never find any funds actually going help veterans who want to be farmers. If you want any funding as a veteran go into the advice business, you will be fully funded.

  8. James Costner    

    Im a veteran who needs help in starting my fishing business in Hawaii. Can you tell me how to apply for agrant?

    Thank You

  9. Robert G Coates    

    We live in Colorado and my wife and I are looking to obtain land for farming and have an equine therapy program for Veterans.
    Will these grants work for that?
    How do I go about getting started on the process?

    1. Antoinette Lee Toscano    

      Hi Robert,

      I am a veteran in Colorado. I’m leasing a 5+ acre farm in the Colorado foothills. It has seven-horse stalls and I’m looking to sub-lease an acre. Find me on Instagram and send me a direct message, if you’re interested in a sub-lease.

  10. David    

    David Gallegos 100% Disabled Veteran intersted
    In the 2051 program.
    Thank you

  11. Duane Stevens    

    I live on 40 acres semi arid I have adequate Supply of water I would like to plant berries and fruit trees and would be interested in a program that would have other veterans that could come and live on the property and help raise the plants. This land was used for Berry growing bye Knott’s Berry Farm I need some resources to repair the diesel engine on the pump and 2 purchase Polly vinyl chloride PVC 4 the irrigation lines

    1. James Thrush    

      Where are you located?
      – James USN vet

  12. Nathaniel Cooksey    

    Okay. Typical government talk, talk, talk and no action, it seems. As a veteran and rancher in Texas, I need money for clearing mesquite and repairing fences. From my past experience, all conferences accomplish is taking money to tell the farmers/ranchers how they should be spending money they don’t have (because USDA is spending it on conferences) to make their operations better… not sure how this really helps anything. How much is actually going into supporting working operations, hmmm?

    1. Douglass Morris    

      Being a veteran and $2.00 will get you a cup of coffee. It’s true you will never find any funds actually going to 1help veterans who want to be farmers. If you want any funding as a veteran go into the advice business, you will be fully funded.

  13. Kim DeVore    

    I am interested in receiving a grant application and guidelines. Can you send it to me or tell me where to find it?

  14. Jay Garber    

    Disabled vet 100% were due I go to apply for a grant to start a cattle ranch in Colorado or New Mexico

  15. Neil N Robinson    

    I am a VETERAN 30% Disabled
    Been working hard with two jobs to have a farm/ranch. Have property and some cows now and trying to make this a sound and somewhat profitable business. What kind of assistance can I obtain?

    Regards,
    Neil

  16. WHIT BIRDSONG    

    Is money available for a specialty farm equipment dealership

  17. Michael Hulas    

    I’m a disabled vet living in ct. Where and how do I find out if I can get horticulture training, or if I can attend classes for this type of education. Thanks. Mike H.

  18. Mario A Cavazos    

    I am a veteran and have a small 10 acre tract of land. I would like to receive info on how to apply for a grant. Thank you.

  19. Mario A Cavazos    

    I am a veteran and have a small 10 acre tract of land. I would like to receive info on how to apply for a grant.

  20. Gilbert James MacKenna IV    

    Outstanding. As a master gardener I dream about having a ranch/co-op with native Americans in my retirement. I hope that many worthy Veterans take you up on this grant opportunity.

  21. Ed Wilkerson    

    So are 2501 programs only for institutions serving minorities?
    They do not serve ALL veterans?

  22. David Roberson    

    Put it back into paying down the national debt. We don’t need any “conferences.” We need land, tools, and seed.

    1. Carla Dowd    

      What state are you in, David?

      1. Carla Dowd    

        *sorry wrong field….

  23. Tim Henderson    

    I am a VETERAN
    I’m not a rancher, but I’m trying to get land and start a Small Black Angus cattle ranch and later on try to get bigger as time goes on. Can I get help from y’all
    (redacted)

    Thank You Tim Henderson

    1. Carla Dowd    

      What state(s) are you looking to cattle ranch in?

  24. Olivia C Henderson    

    Correction email
    (redacted)

    1. Gary Hicks    

      I redacted your email address, mainly to save your inbox from spam.

      For other folks who may be reading this comment, please refrain from posting personal information such as phone numbers, homes addresses and social security numbers. Identity theft is a real threat.

  25. Olivia C Henderson    

    I am looking for grants to help build affordable housing for homeless Veterans . Do know where I can find these grants?
    Thank you
    Olivia C Henderson
    (redacted)

    1. Isaiah Sealey    

      Me too what state are you in Olivia?

  26. Terence McDonough    

    I am a 100% disabled veteran. I have been trying for over an hour to find out how I can participate in your programs with no success. How do I get to participate. I live in Massachusetts

  27. Gary Gorman    

    I live in Kansas City Mo, where are resources I can access?

  28. Andrew Lawrence    

    No it’s not…
    It’s going to to to MSU type Universities which will feed their Professors and not support one farmer.. Veteran or otherwise….. They will put together a class show to you how they went to Mexico or some Central Or South American country and evaluated their GAMP. They have NO GAMP there and they are doing things the way we did it in the 50s and 60s. This is a farce and another waste of tax payer money.

  29. Gregory Foulks    

    Only problem this money never makes it to the actual farmers but supports the organizations that apply for these grants. Send the money directly to the farmers so they can make better use of the money.

  30. oams black    

    thanks for the update… 16 million funding support for the farmers is really good.. Good bless we farmers

Comments are closed.