The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is committed to a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, in response to President Biden’s day-one Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, and the February 2023 Executive Order 14091, Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. AMS has laid the foundation to remove barriers to equal opportunity and deliver resources equitably to all agricultural stakeholders.
The AMS mission is to create domestic and international marketing opportunities for U.S. producers of food, fiber, and specialty crops. AMS also provides the agriculture industry with valuable services to ensure the quality and availability of wholesome food for consumers across the country and around the world. Delivering AMS’s mission in a purposefully equitable manner requires changing traditional perspectives, actions, processes, and performance measures to ensure that the full suite of benefits, outcomes, and opportunities to participate are made available to all. The foundation for the agency’s success depends on having a high-performing, representative, and service-focused workforce.
AMS has taken important steps to address historic inequities in accessing agency programs and services, but more needs to be done. This plan highlights some of AMS’s early accomplishments in building more equitable programs, details AMS’s plan to advance equity in the selected program areas, and sets forth AMS’s commitment to continuous improvements to best serve our customers and fulfill our critical mission. The actions outlined in this plan fall under three focus areas: increase targeted investments, reduce barriers to AMS programs, and advance equity in procurement. These actions are highlighted because of their potential high impact for underserved farmers and ranchers, families and children, and rural communities.
When the first equity Executive Order was issued, AMS took actions to analyze data, consider diverse stakeholder input, and prioritize activities that were immediately responsive to the urgent needs of those who have historically had difficulty accessing AMS programs and services. AMS is committed to advancing justice, equity, and opportunity for all. This Equity Action Plan is our roadmap for ensuring our programs and services are accessible, especially to underserved communities and to those who need them most.