USDA to Revamp Rural Priorities

Feb 27, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is cracking down on racial discrimination.


Rural revamp: The USDA’s Equity Commission released a report offering 66 recommendations to “further advance equity at USDA.”


The report argues the USDA “admitted discrimination during the critical period (1981-1985)” that determined funding access. Underserved farmers were unable to secure subsidies that helped improve land productivity.


The recommendations focus on priorities including supporting farmworkers and their families, strengthening research and extension programs, and enhancing rural development operations.


The commission’s goals include:


  • Improve Customer Experience through institutionalizing customer feedback, service delivery, and program design
  • Transform and adequately fund the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
  • Offer non-loan alternatives to prevent heirs’ property and fragmented land, easing access to USDA programs
  • Ensure equitable funding to community-led land access and transition projects


Ah SNAP: Other goals outlined by the commission include expanding outreach to underrepresented communities to become approved SNAP vendors. The aim is to improve nutrition access in food deserts.

Soundbite: “USDA remains committed to charting a future that creates, not diminishes, opportunity and key to this success is the hard work and dedication of the Equity Commission and its recommendations that will make forward-looking, long-lasting, and transformational progress.” — USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack

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