Expanding the Marketing Opportunities for Minority and Limited Resource Farmers in Louisiana and Mississippi

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2005: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Southern
State: Louisiana
Principal Investigator:
Anna Kleiner
Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, soybeans, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, berries (strawberries)
  • Nuts: pecans
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, beans, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), onions, peas (culinary), peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
  • Additional Plants: herbs
  • Animals: bovine, poultry, goats


  • Animal Production: grazing - multispecies, pasture fertility, grazing - rotational, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: cover crops, multiple cropping, organic fertilizers, application rate management
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, focus group, networking, participatory research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, cooperatives, budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, market study, value added
  • Pest Management: chemical control, physical control, mulching - plastic, row covers (for pests)
  • Production Systems: holistic management, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: infrastructure analysis, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, urban/rural integration, social capital, social networks, sustainability measures


    Minority and limited resource farmer organizations, regional non-profit organizations, universities, and several local customers collaboratively identified opportunities and challenges associated with expanding access to diverse agricultural markets and creating incentives for sustainable production. Through a community-based focus group and action research process, participants identified niche markets, value-added production opportunities, new direct marketing techniques and possible demonstration projects showing the potential economic viability of sustainable production. Project collaborators included Southeastern Louisiana University, Delta State University, the Mississippi Association of Cooperatives, the Northeast Louisiana Black Farmers and Land Owners Association, the Morehouse Parish Black Farmers and Land Owners Association, and Heifer Project International.

    *This project was provided financial support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program of the US Department of Agriculture. The views expressed in this report are those of the authors based on their research and do not necessarily reflect the position of the funding agency or the partner organizations.

    For more information, please contact: Anna M. Kleiner, Ph.D., Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Southeastern Louisiana University, SLU 10686, Hammond, LA 70402, Phone: 985-549-2006,
    Email: Anna.Kleiner@selu.edu.

    Tables, figures or graphs mentioned in this report are on file in the Southern SARE office. Contact Sue Blum at 770-229-3350 or sueblum@southernsare.org for a hard copy.

    Project objectives:

    This project was designed to meet the following objectives:

    (1) The planning team, consisting of minority and limited resource farmers, regional nonprofit organizations, and regional universities, began to collaborate and build upon existing networks and expertise of farmers/producers and their local communities and customer base.
    (2) Information gathered through joint meetings and focus groups helped identify niche markets, value-added production opportunities, new direct marketing techniques targeting customers, and the possibility of establishing demonstration projects in the region that show the potential economic viability of sustainable production and the types of production practices that will mitigate the environmental impacts associated with conventional agriculture.
    (3) Information gathered through the planning activities is being used to develop a larger plan and funding proposal designed to establish specific marketing programs linking minority and limited resource farmers/producers with a variety of customers and increasing the economic potential of sustainable agriculture in the region.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.