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  1. Evaluate a range of specialty/alternative crops, including hemp for farm production and market  feasibility.
  2. Evaluate existing and emerging marketing systems that can facilitate crop enterprises, specifically Farm to School.
  3. Evaluate production management systems that focus on sustainable production to increase soil health and economic security.
  4. Improve accessibility to USDA and other agency support/resources

Leadership Team Members

Team Leader: Vonda Richardson, Florida A & M University

1890 LGU
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Tennessee State University
Kentucky State University
Florida A & M University

Henry English

Jason de Koff

Kirk Pomper

Vonda Richardson

Chandra Reddy

Doze Butler

Kirk Pomper

Robert Taylor

Activities and Results

a group of bushes and trees

Hemp Project

KSU is leading a hemp project evaluating the levels of cannabinoids within fiber and grain crops. The stability of cannabinoid levels in plants grown in different regions is being determined. A hemp trial for testing varieties for the presence of high CBD and low THC levels was implemented at KSU (Dr. Shawn Lucas/Kirk Pomper/Avinash Tope) and collaborator sites at Central State University (Dr. Schluttenhofer), Delaware State University (Dr. Elavarthi), Tuskegee University (Dr. Mortley), and Virginia State University (Dr. Dhakal).


FAMU/New North Florida Cooperative/Holmes County Food Hub leveraged on-station and on- farm demonstrations with collard, greens, butternut squash and sweet corn prior to the initiation of this project for Winter – Summer 2020. Specific evaluation include organic and conventional production, harvesting practices, scheduling, irrigation, post-harvest handling and value-added processing. Marketing and distribution demonstrations are planned for September – October to evaluate economic feasibility and cost-effectiveness of facilitating these market outlets.

a large green field with trees in the background

Sustainable Agriculture

TSU is focused is utilizing the Cooperative Extension System to identify priority areas for research and extension training programs related to sustainable agriculture. A survey will be distributed to all Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension specialists in states with 1890 LGUs. This will focus on multiple sustainable crop production methods such as organic, conventional, no-till production, cover crop systems, irrigation management, crop rotation/diversification, integrated pest management, and soil health factors along with yield, overall economic returns and marketing.

Continued Education

UAPB continued education of farmers on FSA and NRCS opportunities. They also focus on record keeping to document farming experience and develop  income projections for the 2021 season. Advised 20 Socially Disadvantaged Producers (SDPs) with EQIP and CSP recommendations and applications. Advised SDPs to annually update their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Form to participate in USDA Programs. Through office appointments and telephone calls, multiple conservation practices were  recommended for SDPs with the UAPB EQIP Conservation Practices Forms. The staff  made  5 site  visits to  forestry producers to provide EQIP or CSP recommendations for their 

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