Agricultural leadership training programs targeting large, majority farmers have been offered since the early 1900s all across the United States. Thousands of farmers have benefited from participating in these courses, however, few references reveal the participation of small and minority producers.
Realizing that small and minority farmers' have common challenges, the 1890 System developed the Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Training Institute. This course of study guides small, limited-resource and minority farmers through the process of becoming more competitive agricultural entrepreneurs.
The overriding goal of the Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Training Institute is to promote small and family farm sustainability through enhanced business management skills, leadership development and the utilization of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and services. This goal is and will continue to be achieved by helping farmers become better leaders while enhancing their business and farm management skills.The leadership institute has taken the majority of the participants from being just small producers through the mindset of being great producers with limited acreage, herds or holdings.
The Southern University Land-Grant Campus, in collaboration with the Southern University Law Center, Alcorn State University - Small Farm Development Center, Prairie View A & M University - Cooperative Extension Program and North Carolina A & T State University - Cooperative Extension Program, and various other partners that utilize the 1890 institutions to provide technical assistance to their constituents.
This project is open to all socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and producers in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia as well as the other states with an 1890 institution of Oklahoma, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri and now Ohio.
This project is supported by the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program of the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, USDA.
For more information about Small Farmer Initiative contact Kelli Hollins, MS, MBA, Project Director, Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Training Institute at 225-771-5782.