This project will assist at least 150 small socially disadvantaged producers (SSDPs) from 41 rural counties from central, western, southern and eastern Kentucky. These counties meet the definition of rural area and have populations of less than 50,000. The SSDPs in these counties own more than 60% of total farms owned statewide by the SSDPs (Census of Agriculture, 2007). The majority of target SSDPs include African-Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, Native Americans, and other SSDPs.
The project will identify specific groups of SSDPs for need-based, one-on-one technical assistance, education, and outreach services. In Kentucky, the number of SSDPs and SSDP-owned or managed farms has increased since 2007. However, the average return from these farms has not increased at the same rate as other groups over the period. SSDPs have not been remarkably successful in utilizing USDA’s technical assistance, subsidies and other programs and services (KSU Small Farm Conference Report, 2012).