BFRDP Projects

Enhancing Success for Beginning, Socially Disadvantaged Farmers through Customized Resources, Hands-On Training, and Comprehensive Supports
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $299,353
Grant Program: 2018 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Laura Mirafuentes
Organization: The Food Group


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

This project builds on the success of two previous BFRDP awards to
Minnesota Food Association (MFA), now a program of The Food Group known by our farm name, "Big River Farms". The Big River Farms training program is a national leader in providing land-based, intensive and experiential training to beginning farmers from diverse backgrounds, including immigrants, refugees, women, limited-resource farmers, and African-, Asian-,
and Hispanic-American farmers. The goals of this project are to: 1)
Continue offering beginning, socially disadvantaged farmers
comprehensive training in organic vegetable production, with access to
land and markets; 2) Utilize partnerships to improve training
curriculum, develop new tools, and increase accessibility of the farmer
education program. This project continues the successful Big River Farms training
program, incubator farm, and annual conference for socially
disadvantaged farmers (the largest in the country), while developing
enhanced services in the areas of farm business management, financial
risk management and goal-setting. Video technology has been utilized to
increase the accessibility of our training curriculum for a variety of
farmer audiences. This project includes partnerships with Land
Stewardship Project (LSP), Hmong American Partnership (HAP), and New
Entry Sustainable Farming Project's National Incubator Farm Training
Initiative (NIFTI) to reach more farmers and share new tools created.
This project was designed to address specific needs expressed by beginning SDA farmers and was informed by results from past projects, particularly the need for more
assistance with farm financial viability over the long term.

Number of Participants: 881


Promotional Materials

There are no promotional materials available for this project.

Educational Materials

There are no educational materials available for this project.

Reports & Evaluations

There are no reports or evaluations available for this project.

Delivery Area

Describe any unexpected results of the project:

How would you improve the project if you were to do it again?

What were the keys to success for your participants?

Individual Stories / Examples of Success