The 2008 Farm Act established or modified several USDA farm programs to increase the participation of beginning farmers/ranchers, women and minority principal operators (so-called socially disadvantaged farmers), and limited-resource farmers (based on their low farm sales and household income, see the glossary for detailed definitions). Though not all Titles of the 2008 Farm Act address the needs of all these "targeted" groups, provisions appear in Title I (Commodities), Title II (Conservation), Title V (Credit), Title VI (Rural Development), Title VII (Research), Title IX (Energy), Title XII (Crop Insurance), Title XIV (Miscellaneous), and Title XV (Trade and Tax Provisions). See Provisions for Traditionally Underserved Groups in an archived version of the 2008 Farm Bill Side-By-Side.
These three targeted groups overlap somewhat. Combined, they represent 40 percent of all farms (see the table for general characteristics of the combined targeted populations . Because they are more likely than other farm households to operate small farms, they account for a smaller share of the value of production (15 percent in 2011). They are also less likely to receive direct government farm payments than other farms.