Minority Landowner Magazine to feature Alcorn Extension’s Farmer of the Year

This summer, Minority Landowner magazine will publish its 6th annual “Farmers of the Year” edition. This issue will feature minority farmers from across the nation selected by universities, community-based organizations, USDA agencies, and other state agriculture and forestry agencies.

The Alcorn State University Extension Program (ASUEP) Small Farmer of the Year, Revevernd Ozell White, is slated to be recognized in the upcoming edition.

A native of Prentiss, Mississippi, White was first recognized at the 2014 Small Farmers Conference held in March in our state’s capital. He is an African-American farmer, rancher and landowner who has been pastoring Mount Zion Baptist Church for the last 22 years.

White, who is in his seventh year of farming, produces hay and a variety of produce crops including his signature watermelons. In addition, he raises a herd of beef cattle.

White expressed his gratitude at receiving this honor and stated that he enjoys farming because of “the opportunity to produce a good, nutritional product for healthy consumption.”

A fourth generation farmer, he was motivated to enter the industry by a desire to continue his family’s legacy. He reflects that the decision to become a farmer was a worthwhile and positive one despite the challenges he faced initially.

“Many of the challenges stemmed from a lack of capital for seeds, equipment, land and fertilizer,” he stated.

His perseverance through these obstacles is a testament, as well as an inspiration to aspiring farmers and ranchers with whom he shares his story.

Today, White’s growing and lucrative enterprise is involved in a cooperative agreement. His products are marketed to various commercial outlets in the surrounding communities as well as a fruit stand which he operates adjacent to his home. He cites ASUEP as one of the catalysts by which his operation was propelled toward success.

“ASUEP provided me with seeds, plants and various workshops to improve my farming skills and helped me to become a better cattle rancher. I use the knowledge I’ve gained to motivate the young people in my church parish to become agricultural entrepreneurs.”

In the future, White is planning to not only continue to farm, but continue to help, educate and inspire others to do the same.

“Agriculture and its related industries will always be relevant and necessary as long as people are around,” he stated. “We have a valuable resource (land) at our disposal and it is important that we learn to make better use of it.”

To view the latest edition of the Minority Landowner magazine, visit www.minoritylandowner.com. For more about the Alcorn State University Extension Program, contact the School of AREAS at (601) 877-6128 or (877) 427-9536.

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