USDA Awards Alabama A&M University with $750,000 Grant to Increase Number of Farmers of Color

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The USDA recently announced its selection of 50 projects for potential award, totaling approximately $300 million. These innovative projects will help improve access to land, capital, and markets for underserved farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. Alabama A&M University was awarded $750,000 to lead an effort to increase the number of farmers of color in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

AAMU, in collaboration with four other 1890 land grant universities (Southern University, Alcorn State University, Fort Valley State University, and Tennessee State University) will provide delivery of technical assistance to underserved farm populations in chronically and economically depressed communities of Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi to ensure the success of existing farmers and ranchers and to rapidly increase the number of small farm operators in the targeted communities.

“Land access, market access and capital are critical to the success of the hardworking producers who keep agriculture thriving,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.”The Increasing Land Access Program is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to advancing equity for all, including people who have been underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by inequality, by providing the resources, tools and technical support needed to directly help local farmers and ensure we have a strong agricultural system across the country.”

“We’re excited about the implications of this project as we work closely with peer institutions to address this relevant issue,” said AAMU College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences Dean and 1890 Research Director Dr. Llyod Walker. “Our students and faculty are already engaged in the work. This is one example of the many opportunities being made possible for students in our college beyond the classroom. We look forward to the impact of this meaningful grant.”

This project, led by the AAMU Small Farms Research Center, seeks to grow the number of farmers of color in the region by at least 25 percent by 2027, according to the University.

Read more about the USDA Increasing Land Access Program here.


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