Minority farmers and food producers in Northwest Washington stand to benefit from a USDA Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant recently awarded to NABC. The USDA program provides support to cooperatives and Cooperative Development Business Centers like NABC seeking to grow their technical business assistance and outreach to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas.
The $171,000 grant will help NABC provide one-on-one and group enterprise evaluation, needs assessment, business development support and training workshops to farmers throughout NABC’s six-county service area (Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom counties). This diversity-focused project will target assistance towards individual and cooperative Latino farming and food enterprises, and build a framework for providing support to Native American and Hmong farming projects.
New connections will be explored and partnerships built in order to enhance services to minority-owned operations. NABC will hire a new Bi-Lingual Project Manager to recruit and work directly with clients from the Latino farming community. This individual will be spending a significant amount of their time assisting in the development of and creating marketing opportunities for value-added products, and contributing substantially to development and delivery of business workshop curriculum in English and Spanish. One-on-one outreach and surveys will be conducted among all three ethnic groups in collaboration with other non-profit and community organizations to ascertain what services are most needed, and how best to deliver that assistance.
More information about the project, or the Bi-Lingual Project Manager position, can be requested by contacting NABC Executive Director David Bauermeister at 360-336-3727 or David@agbizcenter.org .
NABC is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.