Developing Marketing Strategies For Culinary and Medicinal Herbs
The number of African-American farmers and landowners in the Southern United States are declining at a disturbing rate. For many reasons these, mostly small, farmers are being forced out of agriculture. Traditional crops alone do not provide the income and security that small farmers need to sustain the family farm. Many farmers must work off-farm jobs in order to sustain their farm operations.
The Indian Springs Farmers Association (ISFA) assists small farmers in diversifying their farm operations to include the production and marketing of alternative crops such as medicinal and culinary herbs. Through a project with the Mississippi Association of Cooperatives and the Foundation for the Mid South, IFSA will train small farmers in the production of herbs.
The IFSA producer grant project will take the next step from production by connecting the growers with viable markets for herb crops and create an innovative, model program on which to base future dissemination of training other farmers in the area. They will also encourage collaborative education and growing efforts within other cooperatives for long-term sustainability and success of the project.
From the herbs grown, the Indian Springs Farmers Association will begin test marketing of fresh herbs through existing farmers markets such as the Crescent City market in New Orleans, LA. Secondly, the project will test market the herbs grown through institutional food service companies. Lastly, they will test market the dried and processed herbs through an existing mail order business.