The USDA says it will establish an Equity Commission and is looking for nominations for membership on the Commission’s Advisory Committee and Subcommittee on Agriculture. “USDA is committed to advancing equity throughout the Department,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. The Equity Commission will advise the Ag Secretary by identifying USDA programs, policies, systems, structures, and practices that contribute to barriers to inclusion or access, systemic discrimination, or exacerbate racial, economic, health, and social disparities. The Ag Subcommittee will report back to the Equity Commission and provide recommendations on issues of concern that relate to agriculture. Additional subcommittees will focus on other policy areas, such as rural communities and economic development. The Equity Commission will deliver an interim report and provide actionable recommendations within a year of its formation. House Ag Chair David Scott says, “Today’s announcement will remedy inequalities in any program, policy, system, structure, or practices at USDA, and that’s a step in the right direction.” The Georgia Democrat says he’s thankful for the Ag Secretary’s efforts to address any wrongdoing at USDA.
USDA Will Establish an Equity Commission