BFRDP Projects

Farm Management Educational Program for New, Beginning Farmers and Ranchers in Mississippi
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $600,000
Grant Program: 2018 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Elizabeth Myles
Organization: Alcorn State University


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The overall goal of the Farm Management Educational Program (FMEP) was to recruit, train and equip 300 new, beginning farmers and ranchers (BFRs) with the tools and resources necessary to generate and implement a feasible farm plan, becoming sustainable in vegetable and meat goat production. The objectives for year 1 were to provide educational training and hands-on demonstration in basic crop and livestock production; financial management and risks mitigation; market diversification and risks mitigation; food safety and biosecurity; and to bring awareness of programs and services of the current farm bill. 

In year one, we proposed that 300 participants would learn the fundamentals of farming. However, we exceeded our goal by 58% and serviced 513 participants who learned valuable farm fundamentals in the 5 risk management areas of production, financial, marketing, human resource and legal risks. As a result of these training modules in year 1, participants have utilized farm management tools to sustain their operations, which we did not expect to see until later in the program. Some of the farm management tools utilized by participants was how to organize and set up their farm record system, implementing strategies learned from the hands-on training (developing and implementing a vaccination schedule, checking animals for anemia using the goat famacha chart). Another outcome from year 1 (Cohort I) was the number of participants who were concerned about their land and property rights. They were given valuable information on how to clear up issues with heirs property with a direct contact to the Mississippi Center for Justice.

In year two, there was 154 NBFRs (Cohort II) signed up for the online course in the summer of 2020, and 100 participants successfully completed it.  The participants received their user names and passwords and proceeded with the course activities. The first set of modules were offered June 1 - July 3, 2020 and provided participants with insight on Farm Fundamentals of Livestock and Vegetable Production; Financial Management; Marketing; Food Safety, and available USDA programs and services.  The current modules on Farm Business Plan Development were offered during the period of July 23, 2020 - November 27, 2020 and provided individuals with educational resources to generate and implement a feasible farm plan.  The participants rated all virtual zoom trainings through a real time evaluation zoom poll that instantly tabulated results shared at the end of each session.

In year three, participants will have the opportunity to implement their Farm Business Plans, utilizing accessible resources. To date, participants have developed over 60 Farm Business Plans that are being reviewed and prepared for implementations.  The year three training schedule is complete and the virtual training dates are February 4, 2021 - July 29, 2021.  The outputs for this project include farm management tools necessary for viability. The outcomes will enhance the capacity of new farmers and ranchers to implement a realistic farm plan, market a quality product, explore the many beneficial opportunities in the farm bill, and have a more productive workforce.

Number of Participants: 513


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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success