Providing Technical Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Grants for increasing their participation in USDA Programs and improving farm incomes.



Overview

The Kentucky State University (KSU) College of  Agriculture, Communities, and the Environment (ACE) has received a Socially Disadvantaged Groups (SDG) Grant from United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development (RD). Kentucky State Universityg (KSU) Land Grant Program will assist Socially Disadvantaged Groups (SDG) in Kentucky by providing technical assistance for improving farm management and production, marketing of farm products, and increasing their participation in USDA programs.

The common challenges are lack of information about innovative farming techniques, pricing and branding methods for agricultural products, market information, and increasing cost of farm inputs and energy.

While Kentucky’s SDG members are highly enthusiastic about farming, they face numerous challenges that make it difficult to sustain a farm and agricultural business. These include:

  • lack of sufficient information about USDA and other farm business programs and services;
  • lack of or insufficient capital, training, and technical assistance;
  • lack of information about innovative farming techniques,
  • pricing and branding methods for agricultural products,
  • market information, and
  • increasing cost of farm inputs and energy

These hurdles have made it difficult for small-scale and underserved farmers and producers to sustain farming and participate in innovative farm practices. KSU intends to continue its efforts to provide technical assistance to SDGs in rural counties in 2018 with additional financial support from USDA Rural Development (RD).The objectives of this project are:

  1. Educate SDGs about USDA programs to increase their participation in the full range of USDA and state funded cost-share programs, grants and loans;
  2. Provide training and outreach to SDGs in developing cooperatives and networking avenues to engage them in farm businesses and marketing of products; and
  3. Provide one-on-one, need-based technical assistance, education, and training in a wide range of farm management, business planning, production, processing, and financial risk management strategies and practices.

This project is supported by USDA/RD Grant number 20-037-646489357.