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USDA announces intent to establish Equity Commission

The USDA has announced it will establish an Equity Commission to address historical discrimination and disparities in the ag sector.  The announcement is an important step toward implementing President Biden’s commitment to address racial equality issues within USDA and its programs.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says this is just the first step in dismantling barriers historically underserved communities have faced in accessing USDA programs and services. 

The Equity Commission will advise the Secretary by identifying USDA programs, policies, systems, structures, and practices that contribute to barriers to inclusion or access, systemic discrimination, or perpetuate racial, economic, health, and social disparities.

House Ag Chairman David Scott says he’s thankful for the administration’s efforts to address wrongdoing at the USDA and establishing the Equity Commission is a step in the right direction.

An interim report will be generated to provide actionable recommendations no later than 12 months after inception. A final report will be put together within a two-year timeframe.

The Equity Commission and the Subcommittee on Agriculture will both be compromised of 15 members and nominations are currently being accepted. 

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