BFRDP Projects

Delta Farming Start
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $681,628
Grant Program: 2015 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: DONALD GREEN
Organization: Mississippi Delta Council for Farm Worker Opportunities, Inc.


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

In the second project year, Delta Farming Start delivered technical assistance, mentoring, and intensive, targeted training in farming start-up, farming practice and management, AG related business, and other critical areas to 45 selected participants. Participants are 100% African American, limited resource, socially-disadvantaged, small farm and ranch or are currently farmworkers. Participants are also 100% focused on specialty crop production. Participants completed quarterly 2-day training, received and will continue to receive ongoing one on one coaching and visits to their farms, soil testing with financial resources for soil preparation, tilling, row creation, and precision seeding equipment through the Delta Farming Start program for the life of the project. Participants were either prepared to start small independent farm operations or other agriculture-related self-employment, or to grow and diversify their existing limited resource farming operations.

In addition to 1,698 hours of training, coaching and mentoring, the MDC Delta Farm Start, BFRDP project year 2, Delta Farm Start has provided 1) 45 micro grants of $500 to participants for start-up or expansion expenses covering 102 acres of participant land, 2) access to 44 acres of donated land, 3) access to tractors, tilling and precision seeding equipment, at low or no cost to participating farmers, 4) connection to irrigation and hoop house resources, 5) connection to processing plant, 6) MDC cold transportation and cold storage for product, and 7) secured aggregate buyers for participants. (*Note: Please See Steps section below for additional detail on services provided to participants.)

Individual participant earnings project year 2 ROI:
Delta Farm Start project year 2 return on micro grant investment to farmers (ROI) = 812%

Of 45 funded micro-grants of $500, a $22,000 investment, grant recipients as well as an additional 10 participants who were not grant recipients but existing farmers have jointly increased their total annual earnings by $178,636.

Number of Participants: 45


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

Describe any unexpected results of the project:

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success