Socially Disadvantaged Farmers Research Ctr. to Diversify American Agriculture

Judicial Watch, February 18, 2015

In an effort to “diversify American agriculture” the Obama administration has embarked on a multi-million-dollar spending spree and this month proudly announced the creation of a new Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center.

The new facility will be dedicated to collecting and analyzing data, developing policy recommendations and evaluating policy concerning socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers including minorities, veterans and Native Americans. It’s simply the latest of many costly initiatives launched by the president to even the playing field in farming and ranching. In the last few years the administration has allocated more than $66 million to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance to minority and veteran farmers and ranchers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the bloated agency that doles out the money.

There seems to be no end in sight to the cash flow. In fact, just a few weeks ago the administration announced another allocation of over $9 million to support socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The USDA does a great job advertising the taxpayer dollar giveaway on its website, announcing in all upper case and bold letters “NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS!!” for fiscal year 2015. The site touts the program for improving the supply of skilled agriculture workers and helping socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers own and operate farms, ranches and nonindustrial forest lands.

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On the same week that the agency announced the $9 million to support socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, it also gave an additional $18 million to “strengthen the research, teaching and extension capabilities at 19 historically black” colleges and universities. That allocation was announced by the USDA’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Joe Leonard, and is part of a different program to help minorities–in this case blacks–succeed in agriculture. {snip}

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Michelle Obama’s $4.5 billion initiative to conquer childhood obesity in underserved communities is also administered by the USDA via a number of scandal-plagued programs in which taxpayers provide low-income populations with healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. {snip}

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