Hispanic Farmers Program of Mississippi (2015)
Recent census counts show that Mississippi’s population grew by only 4.3 percent in ten years but the increase of Hispanic residents over the same period was 106 percent. The 2010 census reports a growing demand for Mississippi Hispanic labor and managerial skills in the agricultural sector. From the poultry and timber industries to row crop production like sweet potatoes, the influx of Hispanic labor over the last decade for many Mississippi counties has been transformational. Mississippi Hispanic farmers and operators perceive government programs as difficult to access. Nolo Consulting and the Coalition for a Prosperous Mississippi plans to create beneficial working relationships with these producers and the organizations representing them. We are poised to be the leading MS project working on this effort and close the gap of information and outreach with these farmers.
As part of this grant we will produce the most comprehensive profile of Hispanic farmers and operators for the State of Mississippi. This statewide assessment will become the blueprint document to profile the needs, strengths as well as identify the opportunities to increase outreach and advocate for Hispanic farmers in the state. This is the first-step strategy that will be taken in order to implement an all-inclusive program to proactively connect Mississippi Hispanic leaders and underserved farmers and operators to relevant agricultural educational USDA programs.
This proposed project’s main objectives include: (a) to produce the most comprehensive community assessment of Hispanic Farmers and Operators for the state of Mississippi, (b) to identify farm-related educational needs of Mississippi Hispanic farmers and operators across 5 state agricultural districts, (c) to identify key Hispanic leaders across the state of Mississippi to form a MS Hispanic Farmers’ Advisory Council, and (d) to disseminate and present assessment results to Mississippi’s agricultural councils and leadership.