USDA Equity Panel Recommends Eliminating the FSA’s County Committee System

The Washington Monument overlooks the national headquarters for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. Photo: C.J. Miller / Hoosier Ag Today.

The Equity Panel investigating discrimination within the U.S. Department of Agriculture wants the agency to consider eliminating the county committee system that has played a big role in managing the Farm Service Agency’s agricultural programs.

The Fairness Committee, in an interim report to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, recommended that the USDA perform research and analysis on possibly ending the district county committee system and develop what they called a fairer alternative for all farmers. The committee said that the analysis should include what the county committees are currently doing in creating disparities for minority farmers, as well as include the historical role of the district committee system and the current displacement of minority farmers.

The commission also recommends that USDA immediately put a program in place that ensures minority county committee councilors have access to the FSA administrator to report real-time problems or issues in the county.

The final report will be completed and submitted to Vilsack soon.

Source: NAFB News Service.

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