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Outreach Programs

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides outreach services to all customers. Outreach activities also include innovative marketing initiatives to promote participation to the following underserved segments: Veterans, New and Beginning Farmers, Women Farmers and Ranchers, Minority Farmers and Ranchers (African-Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asian/Pacific Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics) and Specialty Crop Producers.

FSA has programs and loans to help farmers improve farm income through ARC/PLC Safety Net, Price Support, Disaster Assistance, Farm Loan Programs, Conservation Programs  and SBA Disaster Assistance.

Pandemic Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers

USDA's Pandemic Assistance for Producers established new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to a broad set of farmers, ranchers, producers and landowners who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. Visit the pandemic assistance webpage for the latest information on available pandemic programs and sign up deadlines.

Outreach and Technical Assistance with FSA Programs

Program information and technical assistance is available through any of FSA's 51 State Outreach Coordinators.  Contact the coordinator in your state for assistance with any FSA program.

Additionally, FSA has partnered with over 56 organizations to provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers applying for FSA programs.  A listing of these organizations is located here on the FSA Cooperative Agreement page.

FSA Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Resources

It is FSA's policy to provide equal opportunity in all programs, services, and activities to LEP persons. 

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons are individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. As directed in Executive Order 13166 " Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency", LEP statutes and authorities prohibit exclusion from participation in, denial of benefits of, and discrimination under federally assisted and/or conducted programs on the ground of race, color, or national origin.

FSA offers three types of language translation and interpretation services available to customers at no cost:  (1) document translation; (2) telephonic interpretation; and (3) in-person interpretation. These language translation and interpretation services will assist both customers and staff with overcoming language barriers.

iSpeak posters are displayed in each office to identify the language need to the county office staff.

For more information, visit farmers.gov/translations

Please contact your local county office. To find the office closest to you, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

Veterans in Agriculture

New and beginning farmers come from all walks of life, including retired military veterans. In 2016, FSA established four full time regional beginning farmers and rancher coordinators to support the department's beginning farmer efforts.

In 2019, as part of USDA’s commitment to further support beginning farmers and ranchers, state beginning farmer coordinators were appointed in each state. Employees from Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Risk Management Agency and Rural Development lead beginning farmer outreach efforts in each state.

USDA's Military Veteran Liaison connects returning veterans with beginning farmer training opportunities and agricultural vocational programs.  For details of available USDA opportunities for veterans click here to view the USDA brochure, visit the Department's website  or email veterans@usda.gov for more information about opportunities for veterans in Agriculture.  

Business Mentorship for New and Beginning Farmers

USDA's New Farmers website provides information to help new and beginning farmers. The site features advice and guidance on everything a new farm business owner needs to know, from writing a business plan, to obtaining a loan to grow their business, to filing taxes as a new small business owner. By answering a series of questions about their operation, farmers can use the site’s Discovery Tool to build a personalized set of recommendations of USDA programs and services that may meet their needs.

USDA launched a partnership with the Small Business Administration and SCORE to bring free business mentoring to farmers, ranchers and agricultural business owners to help move from the getting started phase to profitability and growth.

Providing Support for Minority and Women Farmers and Ranchers

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides outreach to all producers, including minority farmers and ranchers. FSA defines minority as producers who are African-American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian/Pacific American, Native American, Hispanic and Women farmers and ranchers.

Many farmers and ranchers face unique challenges growing viable businesses in farming and ranching.

FSA’s goals include:

  • Establishing partnerships with members of minority groups, community based organizations, community leaders, educational institutions, and other federal agencies.
  • Promoting increased representation from the minority community in FSA programs and County Office Committee nominations and elections.

FSA targets a portion of its loan funds to minorities and women farmers and ranchers. These targeted funds are not a program type; rather it distinguishes a specific funding source, which is known as Socially Disadvantaged Applicants (SDA).

We encourage you to contact your local office or USDA Service Center to learn more about our programs and the information you will need to complete an application.

Specialty Crop and Organic Producers

If America is to remain food secure and continue exporting food to the world, FSA must also support new types of farming who have not traditionally participated in FSA programs, such as niche operations, specialty crop, and organic producers. FSA's programs, such as Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, and energy crops. The FSA microloan is also a viable source for specialty crop producers to obtain credit to help start or expand their operation.

To help support expansion of organic products made in rural America, FSA has strengthened programs that support organic agriculture. One example is the Farm Storage Facility Loan to build or upgrade storage facilities for organic commodities, including cold storage, grain bins, bulk tanks and drying and handling equipment. Learn more about help for Organic Farming.

We encourage you to contact your local office or USDA Service Center to learn more about all FSA programs and the information you will need for a complete application.

FSA County Committee Outreach

All farmers and ranchers are encouraged to participate in the FSA County Committee Elections by running for a position and/or voting for individuals to represent you and your operation.

It is crucial that every eligible producer take part in this election because county committees are a direct link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Farmers who serve on committees help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer. They work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers. Learn more about the FSA County Committee Elections.

Have Questions? We can help. Please check out our Ask USDA Online Knowledge Base.