Small Farm Outreach & Technical Assistance Program

Small Farm Program

The project commences its third year of a five-year program grant to directly improve the standard of living and increase the farm income of small, economically and socially disadvantaged farmers through better financial planning, resource management and access to information and technology. The program was initially funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) and is now funded through its Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Extension staff w farmerFarm Management - The three specialists provide one-on-one case management, direct personal education and financial counseling for 52 farm families in 5 Lower Eastern Shore counties and in 5 counties in Southern Maryland. From 7/95-7/96, the staff made a total of 738 farm visits and had contacted more than 135 farmers in the project's target area. The goals of this outreach education project are to: improve the participants' financial management and marketing skills, obtain ownership and operating loans, explore alternative agricultural ventures, and to help farmers access technical information on a variety of agricultural commodities.

Audience - Traditionally, small economically disadvantaged farmers do not use all of the resources available to them and they are often hesitant to utilize the services of the Maryland Cooperative Extension (MCE) and other government agencies. The project staff members serve as liaisons between the farmer, the MCE county agents, and the MCE specialists at UMES and UMCP. MCE literature, workshops, seminars, and direct contacts have provided technical yellow chick held in cupped handsinformation and assistance in the following areas: production and marketing of livestock, poultry, rabbits, swine, crawfish, fish, fruits, vegetables, tobacco, exotic mushrooms, and a variety of grains. A common problem for many small producers is financial management. To assist in this area, staff members enrolled in an Accredited Financial Counselor program offered in conjunction with MCE and the Institute for Personal Finance. One staffer has completed the requirements to earn accreditation. The staff has also assisted MCE specialists with computer record-keeping classes for area farmers, and UMES hosted the F.S.A. Farm Management Workshop series. In March 1996, UMES held the First Annual Small Farm Day, an event targeted at project participants and other small farmers in Maryland and Delaware.

For more information, contact:

Mr. Berran Rogers
Small Farm Program Coordinator, Project Director
Maryland Cooperative Extension
Room 2141, Richard A. Henson Center
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Maryland 21853
Voice: (410) 651-6693
Fax: (410) 651-6207

Dr. Stephan Tubene, Co-Project Director
Outreach for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Project
Maryland Cooperative Extension
1102 Trigg Hall
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, MD 21853
Voice: (410) 651-7577
Fax:    (410) 651-7931

Mr. Lewis Jones & Mr. Erroll Mattox
Room 2143, The Richard A. Henson Center
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, MD 21853
Voice: (410) 651-7733
Fax: (410) 651-6207

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For more information, contact Berran Rogers

Last updated: 03/10/2009