Small Farm Leadership 360 Initiative
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A new program called the Small Farm Leadership 360 Initiative will provide minority producers who operate small farms with hands-on education to help them grow their profits and improve their operations.
The Initiative, created by the Small Farms Task Force of Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T State University is a four-part program that will feature both online learning and hands-on activities. The program features four modules in November 2021, February 2022, June 2022, and October 2022.
The program is free to qualified farmers in 17 targeted counties, but only a limited number of seats are available.
The targeted counties for the Small Farm Leadership 360 initiative are Bertie, Caswell, Chowan, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Person, Rockingham, Vance, Warren, and Washington.
Experts with Extension and other agricultural organizations will address a wide range of topics of interest to small farmers, including farm management best practices, tax advantages for small farmers, market opportunities, farm cooperatives, and best practices in agricultural production. In addition to online learning, the Small Farm Leadership 360 Initiative will include visits to farms and cooperatives and small group interactive sessions. Every participant will also develop a six-month best-practice action plan, with guidance from a local Cooperative Extension agent.
“We are specifically reaching out to minority farmers who have smaller operations,” said James D. Oliver, Ph.D., who leads the Small Farms Task Force along with Fletcher Barber, Ph.D. “These farmers have not had the same opportunities as those who live in areas with more resources. We want to give them the skills and knowledge that will allow them to thrive.”
Applications for the Small Farm Leadership 360 Initiative must be received by October 15 for full consideration.