Alcorn’s Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center wins prestigious National Experiment Station Award

Alcorn State University’s Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center team recently garnered national recognition for their contributions to agriculture.

The Center was awarded the 2022 National Experiment Station Section Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award for its Farm Management Educational Program. The award was presented during the Experiment Station Section/Cooperative Extension Section – National Administrators’ Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

The award recognizes the creation, implementation, and nurturing of pluralistic and inclusive efforts at the local, state, regional, or national levels. The efforts could impact areas including administration, advisory and decision-making groups, audiences, coalitions, educational materials and delivery methods, funding, initiatives, policies, programs, staff, and stakeholders.

The Farm Management Educational Program recruited, trained, and equipped over 700 new and beginning farmers and ranchers with tools to succeed in agribusiness. The Program used a teaching platform that included 25 workshops. With its broad reach, the Program penetrated 70 percent of Mississippi counties. During the pandemic, the Program went virtual and rolled out the first online course for new, beginning farmers and ranchers in Mississippi.

Associate Director of Alcorn’s Center, Dr. Elizabeth Myles, expressed pride in their project’s success.

“I am elated to have received such a prestigious national award during my winning career at Alcorn,” said Myles.

Co-Project Director, Velma Oliver, is happy to make a difference in the agricultural community.

“It is a good feeling when you listen before you act. We listened and heeded the needs of our new beginning farmers and ranchers, subject-matter educational training models that improved farm production, farm management, and decision-making practices,” said Oliver.

The award inspires Myles and her staff to remain dedicated in their push to aid those who are underrepresented in agriculture.

“We will continue to commit to growing small farmers with excellence through technical assistance, thereby enhancing the capacity and sustainability of farmers and ranchers with a holistic agribusiness approach,” said Myles.