USDA Panel Targets County Committee System

The Equity Panel investigating discrimination within the agency wants USDA to consider eliminating the county committee system that’s played a big role in managing the Farm Service Agency’s agricultural programs. Industry Update Dot Com says the Fairness Committee voted to recommend in an interim report to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack that the USDA do research and analysis on possibly ending the district county committee system and develop a fairer alternative for all farmers. The analysis should include what the county committees are currently doing in creating disparities for minority farmers. That should 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.

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