Alcorn alumnus receives aid through U.S. Small Business Administration
The Alcorn State University Extension Program (ASUEP) serves as a premier “Center for Excellence” for small farmers, ranchers, and limited-resource constituents. With three locations serving the state of Mississippi, the ASUEP is available to educate and provide technical assistance to citizens, especially during the current state of the world. Featuring extension specialists and researchers who work as community educators and facilitators, the ASUEP offers research-based knowledge and resources to prepare Mississippians for self-improvement, individual action, and community problem-solving.
Like many others around the world, Bernard Brown, a 79-year-old farmer and 1964 graduate of Alcorn State University, was forced to adapt to economic challenges brought on by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Together with his twin brother Leonard, he owns and operates Brown’s Farm, a commercial cow/calf operation in Bolton, MS. As a result of the CARES Act and support from the ASUEP, Brown was able to preserve his business through an Economic Injury Disaster Loan administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Designed to provide economic relief to small business owners that are experiencing a loss of revenue, this aid does not have to be repaid.
“The Coronavirus affected me a whole lot,” said Brown. “With the shutdown going on, I couldn’t sell my calves so I was losing money. I’m very happy to have received this help from Alcorn and the government.”
While his work on the farm is rewarding, Brown acknowledges how tedious and expensive it can be to maintain livestock. “You got to feed your animals, vaccinate them, deworm them, take them to the doctor, take care of them, and a lot more.” He shared that with the CARES Act aid, he was able to buy ample feed and other necessities to sustain his farm.
Brown credits Delmar Stamps, alumnus, and outreach consultant for Square O Consulting, and Gerald Jones, director of County Operations, ASUEP, for being instrumental in notifying him about the aid as well as assisting him throughout the application process.
“Oftentimes, small farmers are not aware of the new, cutting-edge technologies that are available to them,” said Jones. “By providing hands-on farm assistance, we have helped small landowners throughout the state to diversify their farm operations as well as increase their income.”
He went on to add, “Extension work is my passion, and I receive great satisfaction when landowners, producers, families, youth, and communities have an opportunity to improve themselves or their livelihoods as a result of extension programmatic delivery.”
According to Jones, informing the Browns about different programs and initiatives that the ASUEP has to offer was a collaborative effort, and he thanks everyone involved for their cooperation and continued support.
For more information about the Alcorn State University Extension Program, its entities or personnel, contact the Alcorn Extension Office at 601-877-6128.
Photo: Twin Brothers Bernard and Leonard pose for a picture on their land.