Helping Disadvantaged Poultry Farmers in the SouthwestRATIONALE
Poultry production is an important business in the predominately rural region of western Arkansas, southern Missouri, and eastern Oklahoma. Growth in the industry provides an opportunity for immigrant, minority, women, and limited-resource farmers to enter the field. Often, though, these farmers lack the experience and knowledge that would help their business be more efficient and profitable.
Winrock International has experience reaching many of these producers through a program called Poultry Partners, a networking organization originally formed to address water resource and conservation issues associated with the Illinois River watershed.
This project will provide for participation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a joint effort with the Rural Development and Farm Service Agency in which the USDA will utilize Winrock's expertise to provide training in all facets of poultry management and production to underserved, immigrant, women, and minority poultry farmers. This project is particularly directed toward 400 limited-resource farmers, specifically Hispanic and Asian immigrants, in western Arkansas, southern Missouri, and eastern Oklahoma.
NRCS will benefit from Winrock's significant experience in managing rural development and small-farmer projects and its extensive network of contacts among the poultry producers in the project area. Winrock and its collaborators will also be able to continue previously initiated success in the project area, which will enable completion of the joint USDA project.
Partners in the project will collaborate with the Small Business Development Center of the Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and with Cossatot Community College of U of A, DeQueen. The project will carry out a needs-assessment survey of a representative sample of poultry producers in the target area, and will complete one-on-one technical assistance with 15 producers.