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We’ve had a busy spring that has flowed right into a busy summer here at NCAT’s Gulf States office. Our staff has been all over the region, presenting on topics ranging from goat health to USDA programs to risk management. Our FoodCorps service members are finishing up their terms, and we’re getting ready for the new crop of members to come aboard. You are receiving this newsletter because you have expressed interest in NCAT and the ATTRA program. Thank you for reading!

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Gulf States Conducts Alabama Farm Foundations: Planning for Success

Gulf States Regional Office Director Rock Woods and Agriculture Specialist Felicia Bell have been traveling throughout Alabama this spring and summer, bringing their Farm Foundations program to over 150 beginning farmers at four different workshops. They conducted their final program at the end of July. This program, in collaboration with the Farm Service Agency (FSA), was designed to provide training to both active duty military members and veterans as well as their spouses. Topics covered included business planning, livestock production, integrated pest management, and FSA and NRCS assistance programs. The groups also made farm visits for hands-on training. Rock and Felicia received a lot of positive feedback from attendees, including one who said:

"Your presentation on business planning built a great rapport with the audience which helped everyone be comfortable and not apprehensive about what is normally a boring technical topic...The information you shared and the way you presented it has made me feel more confident about my ability to succeed as a farmer. Concerning Felicia, she was absolutely wonderful in the presentations on sustainable agriculture... Because of the presentation I am now certain I want to grow sustainable crops and livestock."

NCAT has a new Food Justice Coordinator

Liz Broussard

The Gulf States Office is excited to announce that Liz Broussard will be joining the NCAT team as the new Food Justice Project Coordinator. Liz is familiar with the Jackson, Mississippi, office, since she served there as a FoodCorps Fellow for two years, leading the FoodCorps service members. In her new role with NCAT, Liz will be coordinating the Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative project, partnering with other groups in the area to promote local food systems designed to improve the diets of Mississippi residents by giving them access to healthy, fresh food. This project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Welcome back, Liz!

Food Corps Mississippi News

Marlena Nip

The end of summer is a time of transition for the FoodCorps team. Many service members are completing their terms, several are gearing up to start a second term, and many new service members are coming aboard! Felicia hosted a training for the site supervisors in preparation for another exciting year of FoodCorps Service members getting their hands dirty all around Mississippi. In addition to new service members, a new FoodCorps Fellow is starting soon. Marlena Nip, who did her service terms in Hawaii, will be joining the Jackson office starting August 22. Marlena says she hopes to learn from the people she serves and work with them to create a healthy and accessible local food system for all. Welcome!

NCAT Gulf States Out and About

“Third Thursday Thing”: Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky

Rock Felicia

Felicia and Rock have presented twice at Kentucky State University’s Third Thursday Thing, a monthly educational event for small producers in the area. They both presented in April and July on the topic of risk management and farm liability issues. This is a popular event with local farmers, celebrating its 20th anniversary next year.

Goat Conference: Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama

In June, Felicia attended a conference at the Small Farms Research Center. This event was targeted at small, limited resource farmers, both beginning and experienced. She presented on the topic of Goat Herd Health, and she also discussed NRCS practices that are available for farmers specific to small ruminants for grazing management. She also was able to share her personal experience with NRCS programs on her own farm. She heard back from farmers who attended that they appreciated the specific details of management that she was able to give them.

Risk Management: Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Rock has travelled to Southern University several times this spring and summer, talking with farmers about risk management for their operations. He shared with them common ways that farms can fail and strategies to manage these risks. His presentations are full of real-life examples that make the topic relatable.

Risk Management for Aquaponics: New Orleans, Louisiana

At the end of June, Felicia and Rock presented to the Parallel Economic Development Cooperative, a community group trying to start an aquaponics system in Orleans Parish. Felicia presented on the basics of aquaponics, while Rock discussed how to manage economic risk on the farm. A representative from the USDA was also there to talk about what assistance might be available for those interested in getting started in aquaponics.

Upcoming Events

Whole Farm Risk Management
August 13th, 2016, 8:00 to 4:00
Southern University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Risk Management of Small Ruminant Operations
September 8th, 2016, 9:30 to 3:30
Ezra Garner Memorial Market Building
Prentiss, Mississippi


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Copyright © August 2016
The National Center for Appropriate Technology

NCAT Gulf States mailing address:
510 George Street, Suite 212
Jackson, MS 39202
(479) 575-1385
(866) 643-2767 Toll Free

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