Many socially disadvantaged farmers face challenges in searching for alternative enterprises and opportunities to help diversify their farm operations. Due to the lack of formal education, many socially disadvantaged farm families do not know what federal or state agricultural programs are available or don’t understand some of the eligibility requirements. They are also constantly searching for farm programs to keep their land valuable, sustainable, and profitable. The goal of this educational program was to assist socially disadvantaged farmers in Southeast North Carolina StrikeForce Counties in linking them with federal resources. Two outreach meetings were conducted with a total of 67 farmers attending. Evaluations conducted after each workshop showed that over three-fourths of the participants said that they improved their knowledge on USDA programs and they were going to apply for at least one USDA program. Some of the programs they applied for and received included: NRCS-EQIP cost share grants, FSA farm programs and FSA farm loans. Socially disadvantaged farm families also benefited from receiving information on disaster assistance programs being offered by the Farm Service Agency to help recover from losses caused by Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. Information was disseminated through newsletters, news articles, informational fliers, and one-on-one visits. Many of them were able to receive financial assistance that helped recover some of the losses from the storms. With this knowledge of agriculture programs provided by USDA, these farm families have a new opportunity to make their farms more profitable and sustainable.
|Conference||2020 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|