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

    Proposal abstract:

    The main objective of this planning grant is to bring together minority and limited resource farmer organizations, regional non-profit organizations and regional universities to collaborate in identifying the opportunities and challenges of expanding access to diverse agricultural markets, thereby providing greater incentives for sustainable production, including organic. Through a community-based focus group and action research process, the participants are exploring the viability of field demonstration projects using sustainable production methods and the potential for increasing existing marketing channels with schools and other institutional buyers, restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers markets in Louisiana, Mississippi and beyond.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. 1. The planning team is building upon existing networks and expertise of farmers/producers and their local communities and customer base. 2. Information gathered through joint meetings and focus groups is helping to identify niche markets, value-added production opportunities, new direct marketing techniques and the possibility of establishing demonstration projects that can show the potential economic viability of sustainable production and types of production practices that mitigate environmental impacts associated with conventional agriculture. 3. Information gathered is being used to develop larger 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.