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Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center

COVID-19 related information

Welcome to the Alcorn State University School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center! Our Motto: “Meeting the Managerial and Technical Needs of Mississippi’s Small Farms and Agribusinesses.” What a honor and privilege to lead a Center that have been in existence since 1988 (original name: Mississippi Small Farm Development Center) with a rich history and foundation. The Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center works with small-and-limited-resource farmers, alternative enterprises, and agribusinesses. We work with and support a largely under-served region of the state of Mississippi including small-and-limited-resource farmers, and we do so very effectively and efficiently.

This is a special moment for me because I fondly remember starting as a secretary in the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences years ago and am forever grateful for the solid foundation it has provided me. The School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences is very broad and comprehensive, yet focused on programs, outreach and research projects.

To be a great leader means to be an accessible servant of the people. My life experience and career in higher education has provided me with the tools and skills needed to serve and lead this center successfully. I believe that supporting and working closely with our incredible communities, farmers, cooperatives, agribusinesses, partners, universities, non-governmental organizations, and other agriculture entities will help us ascend to levels beyond our expectations.

The MSFAC have developed a rapport with the agribusiness sector locally, nationally and internationally. I am excited about the Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center’s future and look forward to shaping a shared vision that advances our mission to promote, enhance and facilitate the development and growth of small farms, alternative enterprises, and agribusinesses in Mississippi. I look forward to additional cutting edge programs to continue the legacy of the Mississippi Small Farms and Agribusiness Center.

Elizabeth B. Myles, PhD, Associate Director

The Farm Management Educational Program (FMEP) for New, Beginning Farmers and Ranchers in Mississippi is a $600,000 federally funded grant by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). In 2018, Alcorn State University’s Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center (MSFAC) became a recipient of this grant with the aim to recruit, train, and provide at least 300 new, beginning farmers and ranchers in the state of Mississippi with the necessary resources to create a practical farm plan. The grant has since been used to accommodate the enhancement and sustainability of beginning farmers to ensure that they have access to land, educational materials, financial resources, and much more.

On Thursday, January 21, MSFAC will host its Year Two Wrap-Up Session at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom. The event will demonstrate progress made in achieving the aforementioned objectives, as well as highlight and identify targets for the upcoming year. Dr. Cindy Ayers-Elliot, owner of Foot Print Farms in Jackson, MS, will serve as the event’s guest speaker.

Dr. Elizabeth Myles, associate director, MSFAC, expresses her satisfaction with the program’s success during its second year. She shares that although the news of the shutdown initially placed things on hold, she and her team didn’t lose hope in finding ways to assist those in need.

“As we began our Year 2 project activities, the Coronavirus shut everything down, and that was really scary for us,” said Myles. “But my staff and I continued to meet and formulate ideas from early April through May. By Mid-May, we had developed a plan to move all of our workshops and demonstrations to virtual formats. I must say that I am rather pleased with how things turned out,” she stated.

During the event, individuals can expect to receive insight on a variety of topics and issues faced by new and beginning farmers. Program participants and grant partners who have completed Year 2 program activities will also be in attendance to reflect and report on the year’s accomplishments, goals, and objectives.

The event is currently free and open to the public.

To register, visit https://forms.gle/xRTaLdoigSefrewq7

For more information or to learn more, please contact Charlotte Dailey, project assistant, at 601.877.6449 or cdailey@alcorn.edu.