Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Hempstead County Part of Grant

By Dale Gathright, Jr., 01/25/21 4:39 PM
PINE BLUFF – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Small Farm Program has been awarded a $600,000 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The grant will be used to train beginning farmers and ranchers. The 20 counties in the grant include the seven southwest counties of Hempstead, Little River, Howard, Sevier, Miller, Lafayette and Columbia.
UAPB in cooperation with the East Arkansas Enterprise Community (EAEC) in northeast Arkansas and the Silas H. Hunt Community Development Corporation (SHHCDC) in southwest Arkansas implemented the program Oct. 1.
The grant runs for three years and targets socially disadvantaged and limited resource farmers (SDLRF) in 20 counties that have a large number of SDLRF’s who have been underserved because of such barriers as limited access to credit, lack of knowledge of land acquisition and transition, limited access to existing and viable markets, and lack of skills in financial planning and production.
In Arkansas, an average limited resource farmer had Gross Farm Sales for 2018 and 2019 of less than or equal to $180,300 per year, with an Adjusted Gross Income of less than $26,200. Figures vary by county throughout the country and Small Farm Program instructors can help individuals determine if they qualify.
“The program will identify and work with beginning farmers and ranchers in the targeted areas. Participants will be trained and assisted with farm business planning, livestock and crop production and marketing,” Dr. Henry English, director of the UAPB Small Farm Program, said. “Information on alternative enterprises, use of USDA programs and heirs’ property issues will also be included.”
As a part of the program, UAPB will conduct beginning farmers and ranchers classes on campus, consisting of seven monthly workshops. These will get underway early in 2021. The workshops will be a mixture of classroom sessions, farm and ranch tours, UAPB experiment station tours and hands-on field activities.
Beginning farmers and ranchers are those who have been farming for 10 years or less, Dr. English, said. Qualifying farmers may sign up for both the training and technical assistance and the seven monthly campus workshops or just one or the other.
Dr. English said that socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers include American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks or African-Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and women.
For more information, an application to participate in the classroom activities, or to sign up for training and technical assistance, call the UAPB Small Farm Program at 870 575-7225 or email leek@uapb.edu