Alcorn’s SDFR Policy Research Center receives over $700K grant from USDA

The Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at Alcorn State University recently received a $710,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The USDA is investing $50 million in 118 partnerships to expand access to conservation assistance for climate-smart agriculture and forestry. The Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements, administered by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will fund two-year projects to expand the delivery of conservation assistance to farmers who are new to farming, low income, socially disadvantaged, or military veterans. Projects will support USDA’s broader effort to address climate change and equitable access to programs.

Eloris Speight, executive director for the Policy Research Center, believes that the grant opens the door for several opportunities for the Center and its partners.

“We are excited to have received the grant from the USDA,” said Speight. “It allows us to improve the success of the Center in Mississippi and across the 1890 land-grant community. This grant also will contribute to increases in participation of the Center in USDA, NRCS programs and practices by addressing local natural resource issues and developing state and community-led conservation leadership for underserved producers.”

It also includes training for students for careers in natural resources management,” she continued.

Speight also spoke on how the grant will aid new and veteran farmers and ranchers.

“The grant will allow Alcorn to address local resources issues. The Policy Center, in partnership with Alcorn Extension Services, plans to educate, and increase participation in USDA programs and services to the Policy Center, veteran farmers and ranchers, and beginning farmers and ranchers through improved educational programs. The grant will also increase the capacity of state extension agents and natural resources conservation organizations to promote public awareness and implementation of Farm Bill program activities and other technical assistance.”

For more information about the grant and the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Center, contact [email protected].