Photo credit: Breakfast of Champions by arvindgrover on Flickr.

USDA – Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Assistance Procedures and Responsibilities

Posted on August 4, 2015

Federal agencies are required to create policies and procedures to ensure that persons with limited English proficiency have meaningful access to their programs and activities. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced plans to improve their assistance to LEP farmers and ranchers in accessing Farm Service Agency (FSA) information, programs, and services. The improvement plans include:

  • A State LEP Point of Contact (POC) will be appointed to serve as the lead on LEP issues.
  • A State LEP Team will be established to develop a comprehensive LEP plan; advise the LEP POC in facilitating actions to ensure effective, timely, and open delivery of programs and services to LEP farmers and ranchers; and make recommendations for training and cultural awareness.
  • FSA field offices will work to identify the language needs of farmers and ranchers in their area in order to request translation of forms, fact sheets, and applications, and conduct language-efficient outreach services on FSA programs.
  • FSA personnel will work to streamline requests from field offices for interpreters in meetings, one-on-one customer assistance, and other areas as needed, and translations of communication documents as identified by field offices.

Farmers' Legal Action Group is a nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services and support to family farmers and their communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land.