Research

Findings from the USDA Independent Assessment of Delivery of Technical and Financial Assistance Civil Rights Assessment of 2011 guide the active research. The Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center conducts literature reviews, which focus on subjects outlined in the report and other national reports, regarding agriculture and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The literature reviews investigate scholarly journals and articles written in the past five years. The research involves surveys and focus group discussions with the various stakeholders. Using the USDA Civil Rights Executive Summary of 2011 as opening research, the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center conducts research that records organizations' responses to the executive summary and conducts additional research on policies, cases, and actions aimed at addressing concerns of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers

Research Priorities

Research teams in four priority areas are in various stages of being launched. The priority areas are as follows:

1)Analyze current agriculture policy and its implications on socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers (SDFRs).
a) Identify implications for policy to support farm management for SDFRs.
b) Conceptualize agriculture policy changes for SDFRs.
c) Examine by title the implications of the Agriculture Act of 2014 on SDFRs.
d) Explore implications of the Agriculture Act of 2014 on SDFRs. A clear identification of the Titles of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), what the Titles cover, and how SDFRs can exploit all Titles that pertain to their respective farming and/or ranching enterprises.The key assumption or hypothesis is, if SDFRs understand the major Titles of the law at an elementary level, then they will be more likely and better able to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits the programs offer.Findings from research on the Titles will become inputs for the construction of future farm legislation.

2) Improve participation rates of SDFRs in USDA programs and services.
a) Examine SDFRs in USDA programs and services.
b) Measure participation rates of SDFRs in USDA programs and services (include Risk Management and Crop Insurance).
c) Identify contributing factors to low participation rates of SDFRs in USDA programs and services. d) Identify barriers, which significantly impact SDFRs participation in USDA programs, such as GHP/GAP certification.
e) Identify factors, which support access for SDFRs to USDA programs and services. f) Evaluate the correlation between SDFRs (understanding of farm income, credit, marketing, and trade and participation in USDA programs and services; access to technology and participation in USDA programs and services; participation in USDA programs and services and diversity of county offices; awareness of farm programs and risk management and participation in USDA programs and services).

3) Enable SDFRS to stay in farming and preserve their lands.
a) Identify strategies to reduce significant land loss among SDFRs.
b) Associate land loss patterns among SDFRs with the Agriculture Act of 2014.
c) Evaluate farm sustainability to ensure environmental health and economic profitability among SDFRs.
d) Identify factors that contribute to a decline of SDFRs.
e) Identify relevant issues with heir property and implications for SDFRs.

4) Expand access of SDFRs to technology adoption.
a) Evaluate the correlation between access of SDFRs to technology and participation in USDA programs and services.
b) Identify factors that contribute to SDFRs use of technology and broadband development.
c) Evaluate the impact of technology on SDFRs.

Research Topics

Research topics include, but are not limited to: farm income, credit, marketing, and trade;farm programs and risk management;land loss, land retention, and farmland protection; land conservation and improvements; catch-up policies and programs to compensate for past discrimination; the agriculture census;impact, use and availability of technology including broadband; USDA intramural and extramural research priorities;concentration in the agricultural sector; alternative agriculture; organic agriculture; access to USDA programs and services; forest land management; livestock management; farm safety issues; and education and outreach.

Research Activities

Research activities that the Policy Research Center engages in are the following: analyzing current agricultural policy and its implications on socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers; collecting data and information on the history of the education of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and evaluating the result of past educational efforts in the South and the ability to meet the educational needs of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers today; collecting data on how socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers receive agricultural information; determining how many socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers have trained on the use of information technology equipment and providing recommendations; collecting data on the reasons for the decline of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers owned farms, ranches and land holdings; and analyzing the data gathered from all sources and developing policy.

Titles of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill)

Another area of research, education, and recommendations involve a precise identification of the titles of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), what the Titles cover, and how socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers can exploit all titles that pertain to their own farming and/or ranching enterprises. The fundamental assumption or hypothesis is, if socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers understand the major titles of the law at an elementary level, then they will be more likely and better able to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits the programs offer.  Findings from research on the titles are inputs for the construction of future farm legislation.


Office Location
Biotechnology Building 2rd floor
Lorman Campus

Mailing Address
1000 ASU Drive #449
Lorman, MS  39096-7500

Phone: (601) 877-6601
Email: sdfrinfo@alcorn.edu