USDA Diversifying Its Staff to Reflect More Farmers’ Perspectives

Sept. 23, 2021, 9:00 AM

President Joe Biden’s Agriculture Department is taking on decades-old disparities that harm marginalized communities by pushing diversity within its own ranks.

“I’ve been around this place for a really long time,” said Janie Simms Hipp, USDA general counsel and a Chickasaw Nation citizen. “I don’t remember it being this diverse ever.”

Several actions in that direction came from Dewayne Goldmon, senior advisor for racial equity to the agriculture secretary.

To progress toward his vision of an equitable USDA, he coordinated a cross-departmental assessment on the current status of the agency, which included how the staffing composition compares to the ...

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