Who are socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers?

  1. Socially disadvantaged group: As used in this section, the term socially disadvantaged group means a group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities.
  2. Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher: As used in this section, the term socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher means a farmer or rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group.
  3. Veteran Farmer or Rancher:
  • meets the definition of a Beginning Farmer or Rancher
  • has not operated a farm or ranch; or hasn’t operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 consecutive years
  • was discharged or released, under conditions other than dishonorable, from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, its reserve components and the National Guard.

This program is the result of a mandate under 7 U.S.C. § 2279 to perform outreach and assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded assistance to veterans.

For more information, please visit US Department of Agriculture OAO site: www.outreach.usda.gov