Creating a Farmer-youth Sustainable Production and Marketing Cooperative for a Group of Black Farmers in Van Buren County, Michigan
Few minority youth see farming as a potential career. The producer feels that immersing youth in this profession will help minority children learn new skills, enhance their work ethic and ensure completion of their high school education.
Objective: To recruit minority youth into agricultural careers.
The producer expanded his gardens and tailored his crops for the available markets, such as collard greens, sweet potatoes, White Northern beans and okra. Farmer cooperative members mentored a group of minority youth and taught them how to grow and market food products.
Results: The cooperative produced 14 vegetable crops in four communities. Net profit for the youth was approximately $176 at each site. Youth volunteered their time to work in the gardens and market the products.