BFRDP Projects

Growing the Management Skills of Native Americans and Limited-Resource Beginning Farmers in the Southwest
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $750,000
Grant Program: 2014 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Russell Tronstad
Organization: The University of Arizona


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

This project emphasizes the priority topic areas of basic crop farming practices, entrepreneurship and business training, financial and risk management training, diversification and marketing strategies, curriculum development, resources, vocational training for veterans, farm safety and awareness, and in the other subject areas advanced training for soils and irrigation, hoop house operation, and food safety. Our target audience includes Native American tribes in Arizona and New Mexico, limited resource producers, youth, veterans, and other beginning farmer participants. This grant is based on successful partnerships with University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and tribal agents, and NGO/CBO partners who were identified during the previous BFRD project. About 40 percent of the budget is allocated to support our NGOs/CBO partners.

Lessons learned and feedback from participants of our previous grant indicated a need for more in-depth science-based curriculum to address plant production topics including soil and fertility management, salinity, irrigation, crop selection for different seasons, and integrated pest management. On the business and marketing side participants wanted information on farming as a business first, conducting market surveys, economics of equipment selection, working towards organic certification, tax information and strategies, zoning and regulations for farmers, and farm workers and food safety. This Standard BFRDP empowers beginning and limited resource producers to learn these skills through ongoing hands-on demonstration, instruction, and curriculum. The third year of our project emphasizes individual mentoring to better enable participants to adopt production processes learned to their own operations and implement their proposed business plans. We have engaged over 250 participants to date in our current project and are building on our previous experience to assist participants in adopting the skills and knowledge gained through the program. Our project goal is to have participants complete a production and/or business plan for a specialty crop small farm enterprise. 


Number of Participants: 432


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success