This guide can help you get started with USDA, whether you are new to farming, ranching, or forestry management, or just new to working with USDA.
Some groups of people are identified in Farm Bill legislation and in USDA policy as being Historically Underserved (HU). Members of these communities have been historically underserved by, or subject to discrimination in, Federal policies and programs. Four groups are defined by USDA as “Historically Underserved,” including farmers or ranchers who are:
- Socially Disadvantaged;
- Veterans; and
- Limited Resource
USDA recognizes the need to be inclusive of all people and ensure equitable access to services. So, special provisions include specific incentives, waivers, priorities, set asides, and other flexibilities for producers who meet the definition for historically underserved producers within USDA programs—such as increased financial assistance for conservation practices, dedicated conservation funding and loan allocations, and access to advance payments for conservation practice implementation—to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners that fit into any of the four HU groups. Through USDA Service Centers located in nearly every county nationwide, USDA staff support local producers with financial assistance, conservation planning, risk management programs, and so much more.