Supported in part with funds from USDA’s Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant and in partnership with Viva Farms in USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, NABC kicked off agriculture business support services last fall specifically geared for the Latino farming community. Now with the hiring of new bi-lingual Project Manager Alex Perez, NABC is ramping up cultural and linguistic business development training materials, workshop presentations, outreach efforts, and technical assistance tools for the benefit of Spanish speakers in the communities we serve.
This year alone, NABC has already hosted five workshops in its Transitioning to Value-Added Products series with a bi-lingual support component. Topics included Value-Added Producer Grant guidance in partnership with USDA Rural Development, Access to Capital with one-on-one lender introductions, Business Feasibility evaluation, Getting Your Products to Market and market readiness, and Writing Your Business Plan including price setting and a deep-dive into calculating profit and loss. More classes are in the planning stages for 2017 including Product Development, Starting Your Business (a basic primer), and Poultry Processing; please see the NABC website for more information as it is posted.
NABC staff is employing and developing diverse strategies to reach Latino farmers both to introduce NABC’s new bi-lingual programming and client services, and foster new connections with Latino farmers and food entrepreneurs. Classes were promoted in both English and Spanish, including information disseminated to collaborating NPO’s and agencies by email, flyers placed in community gathering places, KSVR radio spots during shows broadcast in Spanish, personal phone calls, and in-person at community events Both Alex and Mobile Poultry Processing Unit Supervisor Miguel Martinez were present at these classes to offer welcome, answer questions, and provide translation services, and then provided post-class follow-up support.
As part of the Latino-centered effort, NABC will host a family-friendly Economic Opportunities for Latino Farmers event on March 18th. Representatives from Minnesota-based cooperatives Cooperativa Aqua Gorda and Shared Ground Co-op will talk about these two Latino-owned co-operatives and their journey to successful establishment. The event is on a Saturday to help families participate, and features food, games, a kids’ bouncy house, piñata and more. All presentations and activities will be in Spanish.
NABC is pleased to continue this new phase of organizational development, and looks forward to providing services to a wider audience. For more information about our bi-lingual agribusiness development program, please contact Alex Perez at Alex@agbizcenter.org or (360) 770-4072.
Se habla español. Para mas infomación, contactar a Alex Perez: Alex@agbizcenter.org (360) 770-4072.