The widespread adoption of soil health and regenerative agriculture requires that USDA programs provide equal opportunity and access to all producers. Historically underserved producers (BIPOC, tribal, women, beginning, limited resource, and veteran farmers and ranchers) as well as small farms are often likely to use soil health principles in their operations, but face barriers in accessing government programs and support. As a result, historically underserved producers and small operations struggle to access and retain farmland, and have to fight to start out and keep up in the farming business. By removing barriers and improving equitable funding, education, and access to all USDA programs, the Farm Bill can support the rapid adoption of soil health practices on a wide variety of diversified farms and ranches, and prepare USDA to serve the next generation of producers, addressing injustices and advancing both regeneration and equity.
Summary of Policy Requests:
- Strengthen access and outreach for USDA programs to better serve historically underserved producers and small farms, leading to more equitable access to implement regenerative agricultural practices.
- Support hiring and training at USDA to ensure that employees who possess adequate/relevant knowledge (including language, cultural understanding, and local context) are readily available to best serve historically underserved producers – particularly field staff and technical assistance providers.
Relates to Farm Bill Titles: II (Conservation) and XII (Miscellaneous)