VETERAN AND FARMERS OF COLOR LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE
Future Harvest is thrilled to be in the first year of our Leadership Initiative for Veterans and Farmers of Color, to offer leadership skill training for those who want to champion policies and lead others to advance minority farmer access to land and resources.
The goal of the Agricultural Leadership Development Initiative (ALDI) is to deepen BIPOC and Veteran farmer engagement in the Chesapeake Region by building a multi-state collaborative of standout BIPOC and veteran farmer leaders, stakeholders, and future policy makers. The program will offer tailored, culturally sensitive training consisting of nine months of free, multi-modal training (including classroom curricula, on-farm and online learning, and one-on-one mentorship). Through the Initiative, socially disadvantaged beginning farmers will access enhanced training, education, and mentorship, enabling these farmers to master skills needed to advance their careers and master the skills necessary to run a successful and profitable farming operation. This solid foundation from which they can grow their businesses will prove invaluable when they transition into farm management and ownership roles.
This program is funded in part by a generous 2501 grant from the USDA. The 2501 Program was created to help socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and foresters who have historically experienced limited access to USDA programs and services.
Future Harvest will use its network, experienced staff, our established Field School program, and partnerships with Fields 4 Valor, the Common Grain Alliance and the Million Acre Challenge, to connect socially disadvantaged farmers to peer-to-peer study circles, leadership exercises, brand building, and effective marketing. Through programming designed to improve the new leaders with vital financial literacy and record-keeping skills, business decision-making, and soil health management, and to connect them with similarly situated peers to hedge against farmer burnout and isolation, we can effectively set them up for ultimate success.
Through this multifaceted training program we will support and cultivate our cohort by launching an adjunct program of leadership training focusing our attention on policy, public speaking, strategic storytelling, marketing, management, and development. This curriculum is designed to enable our students to become the region’s agricultural leaders with an eye towards influencing policy, and improving social, economic, and environmental issues across the region.
Applications for the Agricultural Leadership Development Initiative will re-open in 2023.