The “Equity” Commission at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled an interim report Tuesday with 32 recommendations for the agency to advance “equity” in farming.
The commission’s recommendations address the USDA’s research programs, nutrition programs, commitment to farmworkers, department-wide change and how the agency works with farmers, ranchers and producers on a day-to-day basis. Outgoing Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh and United Farm Workers President Emeritus Arturo Rodriguez led the Equity Commission’s report.
“We didn’t want this set of interim recommendations to look like things we’ve seen in previous reports,” Bronaugh said Tuesday, NPR reported. “We wanted to get at systemic change.”
Its policy suggestions include specific measures to institutionalize equity within the agency, provide more funding to non profit organizations working with farmers, simplify its loan application process, improve access to capital for underserved communities, require diversity training in certain agency committees and support congressional legislation to remove food stamp restrictions.