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ARPTAI Cooperators

The primary goal of the American Rescue Plan Technical Assistance Investment Program is to ensure improved understanding of and equitable participation in the full range of USDA programs and services among underserved farmers, ranchers, forest land owners and operators through supporting the organizational delivery and establishment of comprehensive technical assistance projects and networks.

Through this program, a network of Cooperators are working collaboratively with USDA and with other cooperators to deliver targeted technical assistance programs and outreach activities focused on a range of relevant topics including:

  • effectively accessing USDA programs and personnel,
  • agricultural production,
  • agriculture credit,
  • rural development,
  • financial literacy,
  • risk management,
  • mediation,
  • cooperative development, and
  • land access.

USDA, through NIFA, selected its first round of ARPTAI cooperators (Cohort I) in November 2021, which included 20 organizations ($75M) and announced the second round (Cohort II) of cooperators in October 2022, which included 13 universities and nonprofits ($31.5M).

Details for each cooperator are listed in the table below.

No. Organization Point of Contact Focus Project Info Geographic Reach
1 Federation of Southern Cooperatives Cornelius Blanding
Providing assistance to African American farmers and landowners around financial planning, farm and forest management, business planning, tax planning, market planning, cooperative development and support and land tenure/heirs property issues Link Multistate - Alabama, Florida, Georgia,
Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas
2 Intertribal Agriculture Council Kari Jo Lawrence
Distributing a suite of producer-focused resources rooted in promoting equitable agricultural and food systems for Indian
Link National
3 National Black Farmers Association John Wesley Boyd, Jr.
Working with USDA agencies to educate and provide resources for farmers and operators in rural farming communities in Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia Link Multistate – NC, SC, VA, MS
4 The Socially Disadvantaged Farmer and Rancher Policy Center at Alcorn State University Eloris Speight
Providing specialized services that includes outreach to underserved farmers; access to mediation; training in finance, cooperative development and capacity building; and technical support with land access, agriculture production, agriculture credit, and rural development Link National
5 Indian Land Tenure Foundation Cris Stainbrook
Providing information and complex technical support on land management issues to Indian agricultural producers, including the development of agriculture resource management plans as well as estate planning legal services Link National
6 Land Loss Prevention Project Savonala Horne
Providing farmers, ranchers and forest landowners with technical assistance through the creation of a “smart growth business center,” which is designed to help farmers build viability and establish sustainable businesses while managing risk Link State – North Carolina
7 Rural Coalition Lorette Picciano
Launching a farmer–mentor technical assistance network that will build resilient agriculture and rural economies of the future through specialized services, training, and/or farmer-to-farmer mentoring sessions Link National
8 Center for Farm Financial Management Kevin Klair
Supporting underserved producers in learning financial planning, business planning, and tax planning, as well as introduce them to USDA programs to benefit producer growth Link National
9 Hmong American Farmers Association Janssen Hang
Providing outreach and technical assistance to underserved farmers and ranchers by increasing the scope of its existing work with Hmong farmers, expanding its reach to four new geographic areas, and developing a special program for young people Link Multistate – MN, WI, OR, WA
10 Farmer Veteran Coalition Jeanette Lombardo
Hosting expert-led training workshops and
webinars, followed by a veteran-to-veteran peer learning model approach, and concluding with individualized technical assistance administered by FVC’s veteran service providers
Link National
11 The Kohala Center, Inc. Cheryl Ka’uhane Lupenui
Engage 500 producers in education and technical assistance in agribusiness
and cooperative development to facilitate the ownership and operation of successful farms and ranches and increase familiarity
with and participation in USDA and other government programs that support agriculture
Link State - Hawaii
12 Farmer Legal Action Group Scott Carlson
Creating a legal advisory council to help guide rapid response to farmer needs; developing educational materials to acquaint farmers with federal programs, laws, and resources;
and providing direct technical assistance to farmers and other producers.
Link National
13 Alaska Village Initiatives Charles Parker
Scalable online or in-person delivery of curriculum specifically developed to meet the business side of agricultural producers
in rural Alaska
Link State – Alaska
14 National Young Farmers Coalition Vanessa Polanco
One-on-one technical assistance to help answer questions and support farmers in filling out the loan applications Link National
15 National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Email Training and technical assistance and support services that enhance capacity building
to underserved Latino farmers and ranchers
Link National
16 The Center for Heirs Property Preservation Jennie Stephens
Providing education and resources about heirs’
property to all of South Carolina’s 46 counties 
Link State – South Carolina
17 National Immigrant Farmer Initiative, Inc Rigoberto Delgado
Supporting underserved producer communities and partner organizations with training
development, program coordination, mentoring, communication, multilingual informational materials and network development to help immigrant and refugee farmers begin or transition into independent farming operations
Link National
18 National Cooperative Business Association  Teia Evans
Creating a community-led cooperative development ecosystem, which will
provide small producers with marketing and purchasing power, networks, training and a voice not available to individuals
Link National
19 National Black Growers Council  Hazell Reed
Providing underserved Black row-crop farmers
and other producers with educational and technical assistance programs and activities, primarily through model farm field days,
annual meetings, workshops, and other events
Link Regional – Southeast U.S.
20 World Farmers, Inc. Henrietta Isaboke
Supporting immigrant and refugee farmers
in the Northeast with the tools, training and services needed to support their businesses
Link Regional – Northeast U.S.
21 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX) Aisha Cruz-Reyes
Coordinated provision of a range of enhanced technical assistance services, delivered by a strong partnership of organizations led by a Hispanic-serving institution Link State - TX
22 Grow Food (WA) Michael Frazier       
Bilingual technical assistance to underserved producers Link State – WA
23 Athens Land Trust (GA) Michael Roberts
Intensive farm business development education and a “train the trainer”
approach to building farmer peer leadership
Link State - GA
24 Virginia State University (VA) William Crutchfield
Equipping underserved producers with the tools and skills needed for them to make informed decisions in owning and operating profitable farm businesses, while increasing their participation in USDA programs, and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) programs, and introducing Climate Smart Practices Link Multistate – VA, NC
25 Southwest Indian Agricultural
Association, Inc. (AZ)
Homer Marks
Working closely with USDA on delivering targeted technical assistance/training in Native American communities, improving equitable participation of Native producers in USDA programs and services and improve Native  producers’ business management skills, promote local food production, and increase their resiliency and self-reliance Link Regional - Southwest U.S.
26 American Farmland Trust (DC) Cris Coffin
Increase underserved producer access to USDA programs through expanded outreach, coaching, and technical assistance Link National
27 Ecotrust (OR) Stephanie Gutierrez
Establish a Community of Practice for Tribal agroforestry producers; building upon the knowledge and experiences of Tribal producers in collaboration with USDA partners to increase the relevance, participation, and impact of USDA programs and services; and co-developing actionable research and tools Link Regional – Pacific Northwest
28 The International Rescue
Committee, Inc. (NY)
Aley Kent
Delivering targeted financial training and credit access, technical assistance in agricultural production and marketing, brokering relationships with local USDA service providers and landowners, and creating land access and training materials that are specifically honed to the language and literacy needs of the new Americans Link Multistate - UT,  VA, CA, AZ
29 OurSpace World, Inc. (MD) Aitalohi Amaize
Developing a comprehensive a technical assistance (TA) learning network, provide a range of TA activities, and developing a robust TA training infrastructure Link Multistate – MD, VA, GA, AL, WI, CA
30 The Food Group Minnesota Inc. (MN) KaZoua Berry
Strengthening farmers’ capacity and project partners to provide culturally appropriate technical assistance in agricultural production and access to USDA programs and services Link State - MN
31 Black Farmers Collective - TEN FORWARD (WA) Raymond Williams
A collaborative, culturally sensitive, peer-to-peer approach bolstered by cultural/linguistic support including customized personal and  group trainings, consultation, and coaching; guides and videos to reinforce training; and hands-on assistance to individual farms Link State - WA
32 Michigan State University (MI) Jude Barry
Supporting an Inter-institutional network of technical assistance experts; creating a core pathway for Michigan farming communities of color to engage with agricultural resources in a way that is restorative, supportive and a revised model of outreach in target communities Link State - MI
33 Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan
County (NY)
Melinda Meddaugh
Expanding technical assistance, education, outreach, and mentoring efforts to new and beginning farmers Link State - NY


Program type
Grant Program

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