This study examines the characteristics of African American Farmers (AAFs), a significant subgroup of socially disadvantaged farmers (SDFs) in the U.S. South, and their overall awareness of USDA programs. Specifically, these programs include the Farm Ownership Loan (FOL) and Operating Loan (OL) programs, the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), and the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. It also investigates the main reasons for participation and non-participation in these programs, assesses the relationship between program application and the rate of approval, and examines the relationship between USDA program outreach to SDFs and program implementation. Using convenience sampling, data collected from respondents in southwest Georgia were analyzed and presented descriptively in tables and graphs. Results indicate that awareness was high with the FOL/OL programs but applications and approvals were low for FOL. Equally, awareness was high for EQIP but not the VAPG program, while participation was low for both. Reasons for non-participation were AAFs thinking they did not qualify for all programs, lack of collateral, complicated reporting requirements, and incomplete applications.

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