In the 2017 Agricultural Census, minorities represents less than one percent of agricultural producers in Delaware. Through site visits, meeting and consultations, minority farmers feel they are least represented at the farm table and receive limited access to programs and resources to benefit them.
Between 2017 and 2018, Delaware State University Small Farm Program had ongoing discussions with a minority group to assist in the formation of a new farmer organization. The efforts were built on work done on a USDA-CBG grants project entitled, “Enhancing the Viability of Underserved Small Farms and Rural Communities Using Insights from Emerging Networks (2011 -2016).” One output of the project was a document entitled, “Analysis of Farmers Group: A training Manual for Extension Educators. This education tool help to coalesce minority farmers to form an association.
Delaware State Small Farm Program worked with the leaders of the group to facilitate the formation of a new minority farmers’ association in April of 2018. By the end of 2019, the group filed to become a legal entity and comprised of 25 active members.
Over the 18 month period, the association facilitated the following results;
• Twenty Monthly meetings to provide tailored technical assistance to farmer.
• A town hall meeting with the U.S. Congresswoman from Delaware,
• A conduit for 7 urban youths to gain experiential learning on rural farms,
• A member running for a county agricultural office seat.
The collaboration addresses institutional, financial and human risk, and increase the University to plan effective programs to benefit producers
|Conference||2020 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|