USDA has tentatively chosen 50 projects to split about $300 million designed to “help improve access to land, capital, and markets for underserved farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners,” the department said Thursday.

“Underserved producers have not had access to the amount of specialized technical support that would increase opportunities to access and capital and benefit the launch, growth, resilience, and success of their agricultural enterprises,” Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release, which noted that the money comes from the Inflation Reduction Act.

The funding decisions are not final; USDA released an environmental assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act because the projects “will likely result in the purchase of land, construction of farm infrastructure and other activities that could have potential impacts on environmental resources.” Comments are requested by July 14.

The projects cover 40 states and territories including Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, USDA said. It did not provide specific amounts it plan to award the potential projects.

 Among the proposed recipients, according to information from the Farm Service Agency, are:

  • Workin' Rootz, Detroit: The proposal “centers on increasing land and capacity at five urban farms/community market gardens in Detroit: Workin’ Roots Farm; Love n’ Labor; Foster Patch Community Garden; Love Earth Herbal, and Urban Bush Sistahs.”
  • Kansas Black Farmers Association: The primary goal is to help BIPOC — Black, Indigenous, and People of Color — farmers in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri “address capital, market, and land access concerns.”
  • Agroecology Commons (El Sobrante, Calif.): “Through the proposed project and in collaboration with the California Alliance of Family Farms, AC aims to develop and implement innovative solutions that catalyze equitable access to land, capital, and market opportunities for QTBIPOC [queer and trans black, indigenous, mixed, people of color] producers in the Bay Area.”
  • Sustainable Iowa Land Trust: “This project will serve underrepresented farmers on the edge of viability in the three Iowa cities with the largest populations of BIPOC, Latinx, immigrant, refugee, and other underrepresented individuals (Des Moines, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids). This project will help farmers overcome two monumental challenges that they often face when building and sustaining their farms: navigating public and private financial assistance programs and tackling the increasingly high cost of land in Iowa.”

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