The USDA announced it will be establishing an Equity Commission and is requesting nominations for membership on the Equity Commission Advisory Committee and Equity Commission Subcommittee on Agriculture. This is a really important opportunity to advise the Secretary of Agriculture and the entire USDA on identifying USDA programs, policies, systems, structures, and practices that contribute to barriers to inclusion or access, systemic discrimination, or exacerbate or perpetuate racial, economic, health and social disparities. The Subcommittee on Agriculture will be formed concurrently and will report back to the Equity Commission and provide recommendations on issues of concern related to agriculture to optimize USDA programs, dismantle structural inequities and systemic discrimination, and promote social justice particularly for historically underserved and diverse communities served by USDA. Nominations are due by Wednesday, October 27.
Serving on a USDA advisory committee can be a rewarding experience and many recommendations do make their way into USDA policy and regulations. It can also be a significant investment of time and energy. While USDA provides travel reimbursement and per diem to committee members for meetings, the opportunity cost of time away for organizations with limited financial resources can be prohibitive. SAFSF encourages funders not only to reach out to the BIPOC leaders you fund and nominate them to serve on this Commission if they are willing to do so, but to consider providing financial support to their organizations for their investment of time if they are chosen for appointment.
Please submit nominations by email to: [email protected]
If submitting nominations by mail (postmarked by October 27), send to:
Dr. Dewayne L. Goldmon
USDA Senior Advisory for Racial Equity
Office of the Secretary, Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6006-S
Washington, DC 20250
More details about the Equity Commission: The Equity Commission will advise the Secretary of Agriculture by identifying USDA programs, policies, systems, structures, and practices that contribute to barriers to inclusion or access, systemic discrimination, or exacerbate or perpetuate racial, economic, health and social disparities. The Subcommittee on Agriculture will be formed concurrently and will report back to the Equity Commission and provide recommendations on issues of concern related to agriculture. Subsequent subcommittees will focus on other policy areas, such as rural community and economic development. The Equity Commission will deliver an interim report and provide actionable recommendations no later than 12 months after inception. A final report will be generated within a two-year timeframe.
USDA is soliciting nominations to consider membership on both the Equity Commission and the Subcommittee on Agriculture. Both seek to reflect a diversity in demographics, regions of the country, background, and in experience and expertise. The Equity Commission and Subcommittee on Agriculture will require substantial representation from those whose mission is to serve or advocate for underserved communities, minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, individuals with limited English proficiency, rural communities, and LGBTQI+ communities. Other perspectives to capture include those from the small business community, higher education institutions, farmworker groups, and members of the American population and communities who bring their personal experiences to the discussion.
Nomination for the Equity Commission and the Subcommittee on Agriculture membership is open to the public and any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals for membership. The Equity Commission and the Subcommittee on Agriculture will each be comprised of 15 members. The Deputy and the Secretary will designate a Co-Chair to serve along with the Deputy Secretary as co-chairs of the Equity Commission.