Outreach: our way of doing business
The Outreach and Partnerships Division (OPD) provides leadership and funding to ensure that all programs and services are made accessible to all NRCS customers, fairly and equitably, with emphasis on reaching historically underserved farmers and ranchers.
Our outreach responsibilities include providing oversight for proposed program and policy development to assure equity and accessibility for all customers. We also work to develop policy and programs that will allow full participation by underserved individuals and groups and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and landowners.
Identifying and addressing potential institutional and systemic barriers that prevent underserved customers from full participation is an important part of NRCS outreach. This information helps in developing implementation strategies to increase the participation in programs. These strategies include working with 1890 land-grant colleges and universities, 1994 tribal colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions and other historically black colleges and universities, maintaining effective working relationships with tribal, federal, community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations and expanding partnerships and networks that serve underserved groups and individuals.
By institutionalizing outreach within all NRCS programs, services, and organizational levels, we increase the agency's ability to reach our target audiences.