USDA Announces Next Steps to Increase the Benefits of Federal Investments Going to Underserved Communities

U.S. Department of AgricultureImage via USDA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the next steps in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts to ensure that as part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, Federal investments benefit communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment. The list of USDA programs announced today are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to achieving environmental justice.

“We must ensure that the programs we support and the investments we make are available to everyone and that we take special steps to ensure that historically underserved communities fully benefit from these investments and prosper as a result of our work,” Vilsack said. “USDA is engaged in a department-wide strategy to put agriculture, forestry, and rural America in a leadership role in addressing climate change and sustainability, and tracking the benefits of those investments with a commitment to doing right by underserved communities through this initiative is an important part of our work.”

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The Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The initiative is a critical part of the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing environmental justice and spurring economic opportunity for underserved communities.

The programs that USDA identified as covered by the Justice40 Initiative are housed in four of USDA’s eight mission areas: Farm Production and Conservation; Research, Education and Economics; Rural Development; and Natural Resources and Environment.

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