Small Producers Initiative
SPI has been awarded $400,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE) to mentor socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in bookkeeping, marketing, and grant and loan writing. The project’s title is The Small Producer Initiative’s Agricultural Mentoring Program (SPI-AMP).
SPI-AMP provides personalized mentorship, one-on-one technical assistance, and group workshops to help producers increase their financial literacy and profitability. Working closely with small farmers, SPI will help socially disadvantaged farmers with financial management of their farms and in development of marketing strategies. Small farmers often find the process of securing financial resources such as grants and loans difficult, therefore SPI-AMP will assist farmers in loan applications and grant writing. SPI-AMP expects to provide services to over 100 socially disadvantaged or veteran producers throughout the three-year grant program, with outreach help from statewide community organizations and local and regional USDA offices.
The project director is Dr. Ken Mix, and the project co-director is Dr. Pratheesh Omana Sudhakaran. See our Funding page for more information.
COVID-19 Producer Resources
- TX Farmer Resources -- Sustainable Food Center
- Resources on farmers' markets, sanitary guidelines, and more -- Council for Healthy Food Systems
- TX farmer resources and support -- TOFGA
- National COVID-19 resources -- National Young Farmers Coalition
- Food Safety on the Farm -- UC Berkeley
- FDA has temporarily increased flexibility on qualified exemption status of farmers under FSMA due to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions. Read more here.
Small Producers Initiative (SPI)
SPI is a program housed in the Department of Agricultural Sciences at Texas State University.
Our mission is to provide research, outreach, and extension to small to mid-sized and historically underserved farmers and ranchers in Texas.
Small and mid-sized farms are defined as those with a gross cash farm income (GCFI) less than $499,999. This includes starter farms under 1 acre to ranches or farms of several hundred acres. Historically underserved farmers include farmers of color, women farmers, veteran farmers, young farmers, and beginning farmers.
SPI is primarily funded by USDA grants. These grants provide critical funding for SPI to conduct research, outreach, and extension to the over 250,000 small producers in Texas. Some of SPI's activities include:
Conducting a Texas Small Producer Needs Assessment (2017-2019 and ongoing).
Hosting the Annual Small Producers Conference. In 2019 and 2020, this has been the Farm & Food Leadership Conference in partnership with FARFA and CHFS. The conference includes workshops, seminars, and field visits, It connects small producers to USDA programs, technical experts, agricultural supplies, other farmers, and other critical resources.
Hosting workshops and webinars on topics identified by small producers.
Creation and regular meetings of an Advisory Team to aid SPI in providing technical resources and educational opportunities, as well as evaluating program effectiveness.
Managing this website, social media, and a contact list of Texas small producers and small farm supporters.
You can find out more by visiting the About Us section.
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La pequeña iniciativa de productores está financiada por el USDA becas, tanto la subvención RURAL-V, otorgada por el Departamento de agricultura oficina de promoción y divulgación y la capacidad de concesión de tierra no de Estados Unidos
1. Un sitio web informativo (este sitio)
2. Seminarios de web sobre temas de interés para pequeños productores y grabados para reproducciones futuras
3. Tour de pequeñas facilidades de producción e investigación relacionadas a las pequeñas granjas de la región, y
4. La conferencia anual de productores pequeños que incluye talleres presenciales, seminarios y campo visitas además de conectar a pequeños productores a los programas de USDA, expertos técnicos y otros recursos pertinentes