Outreach is an integral part of NRCS program and service delivery, ensuring that all programs and services are made equally accessible to all customers, with an emphasis on reaching the underserved.
Outreach: our way of doing business
The Outreach and Partnerships Division (OPD) provides leadership and funding to ensure that all programs and services are made accessible to all NRCS customers, fairly and equitably, with emphasis on reaching historically underserved farmers and ranchers.
Our outreach responsibilities include providing oversight for proposed program and policy development to assure equity and accessibility for all customers. We also work to develop policy and programs that will allow full participation by underserved individuals and groups and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and landowners.
Identifying and addressing potential institutional and systemic barriers that prevent underserved customers from full participation is an important part of NRCS outreach. This information helps in developing implementation strategies to increase the participation in programs. These strategies include working with 1890 land-grant colleges and universities, 1994 tribal colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions and other historically black colleges and universities, maintaining effective working relationships with tribal, federal, community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations and expanding partnerships and networks that serve underserved groups and individuals.
By institutionalizing outreach within all NRCS programs, services, and organizational levels, we increase the agency's ability to reach our target audiences.
One of our top priorities, equity is the consistent and systematic treatment of all people in a fair, just, and impartial manner, including members of communities that have been denied such treatment. Federal agencies have been directed to ensure equity in services, planning, and decision making.Learn More
Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) includes provisions that address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited resource, and veteran farmers and ranchers (“historically underserved producers”).Learn More
Across USDA, civil rights ensures equal employment opportunities and program access for all employees and customers. It ensures that every employee, applicant, and program participant is treated with dignity, equality, and respect.Learn More
Limited English Proficiency
Limited English Proficiency refers to people who do not speak English as their primary language and who have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. Laws and regulations prohibit exclusion from participation in, denial of benefits of, and discrimination under Federal programs.Learn More