Alcorn's SDFR Policy Research Center earns grant to further assist minority farmers and ranchers

Alcorn State University can assist minority farmers and ranchers even more with its grant renewal.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded the University’s Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center a $1.5 million grant for the 2023 Fiscal Year.

The purpose of the grant is for outreach and assistance for minority farmers for a one-year term. Program funds will be used to conduct policy research to make recommendations to USDA programs and services that impact minority farmers and ranchers and to increase their participation.

The SDFR Policy Center was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. It was created as a vehicle for minority farmers to have a voice in developing agricultural policies that impact their livelihoods.

Eloris Speight, director of the Policy Center at Alcorn State University, is thrilled about receiving more funds to help minority farmers. She credits the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for helping minority farmers secure their futures.

“We are excited to receive the grant for this year,” said Speight. “We are grateful for the efforts of Congressman Bennie G. Thompson and other CBC members in securing the increase in funds to conduct the research necessary to benefit SDFR and other rural landowners.”

The grant allows the Policy Center to gain insight into SDFR and to develop practical strategies to promote farm sustainability and economic profitability.

Some of the Policy Center’s other objectives include conducting studies to improve the success of SDFR, collaborating across the 1890 and other land grant universities to do research, and analyzing the results of studies to make policy recommendations for future Farm Bills to the USDA.

For more information about the Policy Center at Alcorn State University, visit its webpage on the University website.