; Farm and Food Business Risk Management Education for Next Generation Latino Producers in Pennsylvania | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Farm and Food Business Risk Management Education for Next Generation Latino Producers in Pennsylvania

Winifred McGee and Lynn Kime


The percentage of Pennsylvanians whose primary language and culture is Hispanic increased 82.6% between US Censuses 2000 and 2010. Nationally, this demographic is replicated – economic development data shows US Latino business ownership increased 43.7% between 2002 and 2007. Despite a rapidly growing Latino interest in farm/business ownership, the University of Michigan reported (2011) that Hispanic farm entrepreneurs experience significant challenges – low human and financial capital, language barriers, limited business start-up information, and limited access to credit. A Penn State Extension pilot project was designed to teach Latinos/Latinas about financial, production and human resource risk management to increase their profitability, sustainability, and quality of life in agriculture. Drawing on GrowNYC’s FARMroots - Farm Assistance Retention & Management project – a Penn State team provided a series of meetings and individual consults in farm and food business risk management using simultaneous interpretation equipment, bi-lingual Power Point presentations, and translated fact sheets; the pilot resulted in three new farmers launching specialty vegetable production in the first year. Originally funded by Penn State Extension Director’s Program Priority Initiative Grant, this program’s success led to two consecutive USDA RMA grants, expanding/enhancing accessibility of business and risk management information for ESL clients. This presentation covers the project’s rationale, a progress timeline, and profiles of resulting, successful Latino farmers. Participants will be introduced to the Spanish-language Agricultural Alternatives Fact Sheets (accessed at http://extension.psu.edu/business/ag-alternatives/farm-management/espanol), so that they may replicate the education of business development and small-scale farm and food business risk management for Spanish-speaking clients in their own communities.