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Advancing Equity at FSA

FSA Equity Statement:

The Farm Service Agency (FSA):

  • embraces the unique qualities of each individual and believes all must have equal access.
  • recognizes equity as a driving force and stands committed to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all programs and services.

 FSA Believes:

  • Equity Matters. FSA is committed to a continual practice of changing policies, practices, systems, and structures that will be fair, just, and impartial to all individuals.
  • Diversity Matters. FSA values representation of different racial and ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and women across the workplace and customers we serve on the policies that impact them.
  • Inclusion matters. Individuals impacted by a decision should be engaged in the process.
  • History matters. Plagued by litigation, FSA faces a storied history and current reality of program inequity and biases that have plagued both customers and employees.  FSA will use a new approach for both segments.
  • Leadership matters. Implementing this transformation requires strong, engaged leaders as well as developing emerging leaders to advance equity.  FSA leadership commits to this pledge.
  • Understanding matters. FSA programs and services are often complex, but FSA is committed to foster a new system of outreach, technical assistance, and engagement for all.
  • Information matters. FSA is committed to providing continuous learning opportunities to teach and model successes, and the exchange of information that will allow producers and staff to learn from each other and help leverage change for the better.
  • YOU matter. Whether a producer or an employee, this agency values your input and feedback to improve programs, services, and employment opportunities.

FSA’s Equity actions will result in:

  • Increased Trust with Producers
  • Improved Customer Service
  • Reduced Program Barriers
  • Program funding to address programmatic inequities

FSA Equity Action Plan

USDA Equity Plan

Justice 40 Initiative

What is Justice 40?

President Biden's Justice 40 Initiative aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The initiative is a critical part of the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing environmental justice and spurring economic opportunity for underserved communities.

Through the President’s Inflation Reduction Act, and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, federal agencies are making historic levels of investment to advance environmental justice. This investment will help confront decades of underinvestment in disadvantaged communities and bring critical resources to communities that have been overburdened by legacy pollution and environmental hazards.


Covered Justice 40 Programs

A “covered program” is a Federal Government program that falls in the scope of the Justice40 initiative because it includes investments that can benefit disadvantaged communities across one or more of the following seven areas:

1.  Climate change
2.  Clean energy and energy efficiency
3.  Clean transit
4.  Affordable and sustainable housing
5.  
Training and workforce development (related to climate, natural disasters, environment, clean energy, clean transportation, housing, water and wastewater infrastructure, and legacy pollution reduction, including in energy communities)
6.  Remediation and reduction of legacy pollution 
7.  Development of critical clean water and wastewater infrastructure.

Resources

FSA Programmatic Equity Selected Resources:

USDA Equity Links:


  • Webpages and Online Tools
    • Disaster Assistance Tool - In five steps discover USDA disaster assistance that might be right for you.
    • FSA Cooperative Agreements - Connect with community-based organizations, non-profit organizations, colleges and universities who have received funding to conduct outreach and technical assistance on FSA programs.
    • FSA County Committee Local Administrative Areas - Locate the local administrative areas in your county.
    • FSA County and Urban Committee Election Reports - Review annual election reports detailing FSA's County Committees.
    • FSA Farm Loan Assistance Tool - Learn about the farm loans that might be right for you, check your eligibility and get instructional help with application forms.
    • FSA Loan Program Data- Review reports of lending by state for previous fiscal years.  (Loan applications and program funding information issued to all, including socially disadvantaged, beginning and veteran farmer and rancher applications.  
    • Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Investments in USDA Loan and Conservation Programs - Section 22006 of the IRA provides $3.1 billion to provide relief for distressed borrowers with certain FSA direct and guaranteed loans.  Section 22007 provides $2.2 billion in financial assistance for farmers who have experience discrimination in USDA's farm lending programs. 
    • Receipt for Service - FSA, NRCS and RD county offices are required to provide all customers with a receipt detailing the request and service provided.  
    • FSA Translated Materials and Interpretation Services- Free interpretation services available for FSA and NRCS assistance at your local service center.  This page features translated program fact sheets.
    • USDA Language Access Plan - Departmental plan to ensure agencies, offices and staff take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to USDA conducted and assisted benefits, services and information for individuals with limited English proficiency. 
    • FPAC Partnerships with Tribal Nations - Resources to connect Tribal nation leaders, managers, agricultural producers and citizens with USDA programs and services. 
    • USDA Advisory Committees -  USDA has opportunities to serve on advisory committees are routinely available as the terms of various members expires. These advisory committees range from farmers, ranchers, scientists, educators, business leaders, financial experts and representatives of interest groups.  
    • USDA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Resources- Resource page for beginning farmers and ranchers.  Contact your state beginning farmer and rancher coordinator for additional assistance.
    • USDA CARES Parter Portal - Resource designed to connect partner organizations with relevant USDA programs and services. 
    • USDA Office of Tribal Relations - Leads the Department's vision to support and enhance government to government relations between USDA and federally recognized tribal governments.
    • USDA Socially Disadvantaged Policy Research Center - Created by the 2018 Farm bill and administered by Alcorn State University, the mission of the Policy Research Center is to make policy recommendations to Congress that will improve the success of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers through research, stakeholder engagement, and outreach.
    • USDA Urban Agriculture - Urban agriculture includes the cultivating, processing and distributing agricultural products in urban and suburban areas. Community gardens, rooftop farms, hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic facilities, and vertical production are all examples of urban agriculture. Tribal communities and small towns may also be included.
    • USDA Certified Mediation Program - Connect with state-designated entities that provide alternative dispute resolution through mediation to ag producers, their lenders and others directly affected by the actions of certain USDA agencies.  
    • USDA Resources for Underserved and Veteran Farmers, Ranchers and Foresters-  The Secretary's Office of Partnership and Public Engagement lead departmental efforts to help underserved fand veteran armers, ranchers and foresters who have historically experienced limited access to USDA programs and services. 
    • Work for Us - Working at FSA you can explore diverse careers such as:  Loan Specialists, Loan Technicians, Program Technicians, County Executive Directors, and many more other exciting career paths.
  • Guides and Fact Sheets