In this post, we’re sharing a few more snapshots of some of the things happening in February, as participants in Mississippi Delta Council’s Delta FarmStart farmworker microenterprise program gets going in 2016. The program, which is funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program (BFRDP) helps farmworkers and individuals new to farming to launch and accelerate small agriculture businesses. Along with business planning workshops, referrals, technical assistance and mentoring, the program provides $500 mini-grants toward funding qualified business plans. The recent workshop was held at the Mississippi Delta Council warehouse and training facility, which is the site for the Crossroads Farmers Market from May to October. Leading collaboration partners in our Delta FarmStart work are the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative (SRBWI) Women in Agriculture cooperative and the Tougaloo College Farm Aid 2501 program, which also has a BFRDP-funded program.
Special guest speaker Hugh Balthrop, founder of Sweet Magnolia Gelato Co. encouraged participants to reach out directly to local value-added producers and restaurants.