Several Northwest lawmakers are asking the USDA why funds have been redirected from a program designed to help farmers who are immigrants, people of color and veterans. The letter signed by Washington Senator Patty Murray, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer, asks the USDA’s Mike Beatty to explain why funding appropriated for the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers program, (i.e. Section 2501) has been redirected for other purposed.
The letter, signed by nearly 40 lawmakers, said “We were therefore concerned to learn that instead of directing Fiscal Year 2020 Section 2501 appropriations to grants established through the 2018 Farm Bill, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) redirected this funding to a new initiative created by the Administration – the Centers for Community Prosperity (CCP)” A decision, the letter said, was made without a thorough process for input and consultation with Section 2501 stakeholders and the communities of color and veterans that they serve.
The letter went on to says Section 2501 is the only Farm Bill program dedicated to addressing the specific needs of Black, American Indian, Asian American, Latino, and military veteran family farmers and ranchers.
Click Here to read the entire letter, check out PNWAg.net, we’ll have a link for you there.
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