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NC A&T hosts educational workshop for small farmers, particularly those of color

Two Black women wearing masks and standing under a farm stand tent prepare green produce.
Lynn Hey
Vanecia Boone, left, and Brandy Hamilton prepare Boone's booth, Herbin Herbals, for Bountiful Land Food for All Farmers Market on Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Greensboro, N.C.

The two-day leadership training aims to help farmers in underserved counties with daily operations as well as strengthen their businesses for the long term.

On Tuesday, North Carolina A&T State University hosted farmers from underserved counties for a two-day training as part of the Small Farm Leadership 360 Initiative.

The program offers four sessions that include informal lectures, discussions, and hands-on learning to develop a mission statement and business plan for farmers.

The training identifies areas where small farmers need the most assistance.

James Oliver, a consultant with NC A&T’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, said some of the focus in the sessions are on finances and harvesting crops.

“Another important session helps farmers plan for the next generation and it shows them how to pass on their assets to their children,” he said.

While the program is targeted at farmers of color, it is open to everyone in North Carolina. The only requirement is that farmers have 250 acres of farmland or less. Oliver said one of the session’s goals is to help farmers know more about the industry.

“The other goal we have is to get them to try new practices [and] do new things,” he said.

The next workshopis in June in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Sharryse Piggott is WUNC’s PM Reporter.
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