Will Hehemann | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Howard Brown, a livestock producer in Chicot County, Arkansas, recently graduated from the Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Training Institute at Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The two-year course helps small, limited-resource and minority farmers become more competitive entrepreneurs.
Travis Collins, Extension associate at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, referred Brown to the program as part of a partnership between the nation’s 1890 land-grant universities and the leadership-training institute. The program helps small producers expand their operations despite limited acreage, herds or holdings and promotes the sustainability of small family farms through enhanced business management skills and leadership development.
The program is designed to increase the understanding of agricultural infrastructure, state and federal government, agricultural economics and the effects of global agriculture on the U.S. economy. Participants learn ways to enhance their leadership and decision-making skills, expand their market and shape public policy.
“I was very happy to be selected to participate in this course,” Brown said. “I appreciated how everyone worked together and shared their knowledge. In this industry, it’s all about sharing and helping others.”
Dr. Henry English, director, Small Farm Program, said the institute allows farmers to visit different states and learn about state policy. It also provides them with education on USDA agricultural initiatives that increase their ability to make informed agricultural decisions.
The leadership development project is supported by the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program of the Office of Advocacy & Outreach.