Risk Management Education and Community Outreach for Minority and Socially Disadvantaged Agricultural Producers in Alabama
This state-wide project is designed to conduct community outreach and provide technical assistance to minorities and socially disadvantaged agricultural producers in Alabama’s economically depressed and underserved communities. The target audience, which includes youth, women, African Americans, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, and other minority groups, has traditionally not had access to federal programs and services administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The groups operate small farms, usually with limited resources. The project blends unique approaches to outreach, and it targets specific priority areas, which maximize benefits per unit dollar invested. It also develops information and training modules for producers, identifies key strategies to deal with risk and other problems, encourages efficient resource use, enhances farm profitability, and promotes sustainability. The project's specific objectives are to:
assemble and disseminate educational materials and resources, and conduct training workshops on production and use of biodiesel and alternative energy as a means of coping with energy risk by small and minority producers;
establish new outreach initiatives, strengthen existing ones, including women-in-agriculture programs, farmer-to-farmer learning, beginning/new-farmer mentoring, summer youth camps, and field days to ensure effective outreach delivery, enhance farm profitability and encourage adoption of improved technologies by women, beginning and underserved farmers;
develop training modules and provide specialized education and technical assistance in farm financial management, business planning,
enterprise budgets and budgeting, estate planning and retirement security for Alabama’s underserved producers; and
explore market opportunities for sustainable pastured poultry, meat rabbit, sheep and meat goat production, and provide technical assistance for small-scale and beginning farmers.
These activities will prepare and equip minority producers to be able to identify the various risk management tools available and know where to obtain them, understand how each tool operates, and be able to select one that best meets their individual need in order to enhance and sustain farm profitability. The project will collaborate with partners, embracing the concept of "holistic approach" to community outreach and technical assistance. The project falls within the Valdosta, GA, RMA/Regional Office