BFRDP Projects

Strengthening Training and Sustaining Farming Opportunities for Veterans and Limited Resource Populations through Collaboration, Mentoring and Experiential Learning
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $600,000
Grant Program: 2017 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Duncan M Chembezi


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Alabama A&M University (AAMU) has been providing training and technical assistance to rural residents since the time of the visionary, Dr. George Washington Carver. Opportunities in agriculture abound for the next generation of farmers, but many veterans, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged individuals are unaware of these opportunities and/or experience a myriad other barriers to equitably accessing available programs and services. The goal of this project is to grow the next generation of farmers, and assist them overcome the said barriers so they are able to develop, operate and own profitable and sustainable farm enterprises. AAMU is partnering with Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Agricultural A+ Marketing Association, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, JD Booker Farm, Staysail Group, and Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund to develop a comprehensive training program and disseminate videos, curricula and decision-making aids structured to engage veterans, minority populations and those who aspire to advance farming opportunities. Over 36% of the requested funds are allocated to partner community-based organizations; 8% of the funds are budgeted to recruit and assist veterans; and 41% will be used to assist limited resource, socially disadvantaged beginning farmers. The Center begin the promoting  the program through partnering with several community-based demonstration farms throughout Alabama.  The Center has used various training methods such as  demonstrations farms, field days, workshops and group meetings. The project will continue to provide year-long programs of classroom and hands-on in-field instruction and demonstrations on essential skills and information to empower new farmers with the knowledge to be successful. The project has recruited and reached nearly 2,500. This year the project has assisted 187 new farmers, 65 veterans, and 200 beginning farmers, and reached over 3,300 farmers through effective outreach delivery and information dissemination.  Based on strong partnership, target audience support, and the proposed innovative approach including online resource development, this project will be self-sustaining.

Number of Participants: 425


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