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USDA's bold move towards equity in agriculture


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) took a significant leap forward in its commitment to equity and fairness with the launch of the National Equity Summit. This landmark event was a celebration of the USDA Equity Commission's hard work and a recommitment to making USDA's programs more inclusive and accessible. 

The Summit served as a platform for the Equity Commission, comprising experts from varied backgrounds, to present their final recommendations to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. These recommendations cover a wide range of actions aimed at dismantling barriers to access and addressing the systemic issues that have historically marginalized certain groups. 

Key areas of focus include enhancing support for farmers and ranchers, improving nutrition assistance, and promoting economic development in rural areas. These measures are designed to ensure that USDA's vast array of programs reaches and benefits all Americans, particularly those in underserved communities. 

Deputy Secretary Torres Small highlighted the importance of acknowledging past mistakes and working diligently to build a more equitable future. The USDA has begun implementing the Commission's recommendations, striving to create an environment where equity is at the forefront of every decision and action. 

Looking ahead, the USDA plans to extend its engagement with stakeholders through a series of regional equity convenings. These events will delve deeper into the issues identified by the Equity Commission, fostering ongoing dialogue and collaboration. 

The National Equity Summit is a testament to USDA's unwavering dedication to advancing equity within the agricultural sector and across rural America. By embracing the Commission's recommendations, the USDA is paving the way for a more just and inclusive future for all who rely on its programs and services.

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