by Gabe Kaminsky
The Biden administration will shell out millions in grants to recruit minority farmers, ranchers and forest land owners to fill the “diversity gap,” according to a grant listing.
President Joe Biden’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) anticipates handing up to $250 million to minority colleges “to achieve equitable participation” in USDA programs for farmers, ranchers and forest land owners, the grant listing shows. Schools that receive funding will be tasked with developing scholarships and programs for minorities that provide “pathways to federal employment” with the USDA.
The USDA needs a “diverse” workforce to address today’s “most pressing societal challenges,” which includes “climate change” and “equity,” the grant listing claims. Those eligible for the grant include historically black land-grant universities, hispanic agricultural colleges, tribal colleges, Alaska native schools and other minority schools.
Institutions may receive between $500,000 and $20 million from the USDA in connection to the grant, which is titled “From Learning to Leading: Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Food and Agriculture Professionals.” The grant was first authorized under a provision in the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package signed by Biden in March 2021, the listing says.
The Democrat-led “Inflation Reduction Act,” the $740 billion spending package Biden signed in August, amended the provision, according to the listing. The grant has an application deadline of Oct. 25.
“This is taxpayer money used on social engineering,” Mike Palicz, federal affairs manager at Americans for Tax Reform, a group seeking to lower federal spending, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t go toward any race-based government program. I’m reading this and I’m uncomfortable with it and I think taxpayers would be really uncomfortable once they find out.”
Institutions that receive the government money will be tasked with creating internships, fellowships and apprenticeships for both graduate and undergraduate students at the minority colleges. The institutions should “attract and engage K-12 youth and other communities of learners that are underrepresented” in the agriculture sector, the listing says.
Republican Florida Rep. Kat Cammack, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, told the DCNF the grant is “a lesson in woke nonsense” as Americans face economic challenges from rising inflation and costs as well as supply chain shortages.
“Amid skyrocketing inflation and challenges for our farmers and producers—rising input costs, fertilizer availability, shipping delays, labor shortages, and more—the USDA instead chooses to focus on a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative, of all things,” said Cammack. “Our producers are facing historic challenges for their industries and the Department of Agriculture shows its support and solidarity with another ‘woke’ program that will do nothing to ease the burdens on the folks who work so hard to feed our nation.”
“Our farmers need an administration that understands our family farms are in dire need of support, not a lesson in woke nonsense,” Cammack added.
The USDA did not respond to a request for comment.
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Gabe Kaminsky is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.