An Oregon nonprofit is one of about 50 organizations nationwide to receive funds to support diverse farmers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Anne Morse of Adelante Mujeres said the organization uses the grant money to support farmers of diverse backgrounds who the USDA considers to be “socially disadvantaged.”
“That means that your second language is English, you might not be as comfortable with setting up a booth at a farmer’s market and selling your produce,” said Morse. “We just basically try and give them support in really being competitive with other small farmers in the region.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack added, “Agriculture is just like any other business — it needs people from diverse backgrounds and experience levels in order to reach its full potential and meet the challenges of tomorrow.”
“Identifying, recruiting and training a vibrant next generation of American farmers and ranchers has never been more exciting or more urgent than it is right now.”
Morse said the grant will expand existing programs in Oregon and help serve about a hundred farmers in the region. Adelante Mujeres offers Latino farmers a 12-week course in Spanish that covers topics like farming techniques, soil maintenance, crop planning and pest management.
“I think it’s been really a life-changing experience for a lot of farmers,” said Morse.