Agritourism and Agribusiness Entrepreneur Training, Assistance and Product Marketing in the Eastern Alabama Black Belt

Project Overview

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2005: $9,956.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Southern
State: Alabama
Principal Investigator:
Barrett Temple-Vaughan
Tuskegee University


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: technical assistance
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, urban/rural integration, community development

    Proposal abstract:

    This project seeks to foster a group of new and current agribusiness/agritourism entrepreneurs to capitalize on the expanding markets in East Central Alabama. It is an innovative, regional coordination of the rural- and urban-based services of three primary entities—Tuskegee University, the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center/Visitors Center, and the Montgomery Area Center for Entrepreneurial Development—to train, assist, and provide a marketing center for the entrepreneurs. The project will also involve the cooperation of state and local government, extension, and financial institutions. The training of a select group of community members will take place at the Montgomery Area Center for Entrepreneurial Development in their 12-week NX Level Entrepreneurial University, and will be supported by tutoring by Tuskegee University students. These entrepreneurs will be assisted by the Tuskegee University Rural Business and Economic Development Program with bi-weekly workshops and individual consulting and referrals. A centralized marketplace, real and virtual, will be established in the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center/Visitors Center for the products of the entrepreneurs, and technology resources will be made available there for their use. The potential impact and expected results will be a strong group of community business leaders who will positively influence agricultural and community sustainability in the Eastern Alabama Black Belt.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Identify potential agribusiness/agritourism entrepreneurs from the community, provide for their entrepreneur training, and support the completion of their business plans.

    2. Assist the entrepreneurs to further develop and implement their business plans through connecting them with Tuskegee University outreach and extension, state and local government assistance, and the commerce and financial institutions in the region.

    3. Establish a centralized agribusiness/agritourism product marketing and service referral function within the County-designated Visitors Center at the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center for the entrepreneurs.

    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.