shirley_sherrod_web_4.jpgATLANTA (AP) _ The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants a former official who was ousted in a racial flap to help with outreach efforts to minorities. Department spokesman Justin DeJong said Saturday that discussions are ongoing with Shirley Sherrod about whether she and her nonprofit organization would assist in the effort. A final decision has not been reached.

Sherrod was traveling Saturday and couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Sherrod was forced to resign last year as Georgia's director of rural development. It happened after a conservative blogger posted an edited video of Sherrod, who is black, telling a crowd about her initial reluctance 24 years ago to help a white farmer seeking assistance.

The blogger omitted Sherrod explaining it was a story of racial reconciliation. She befriended the farmer and helped him.