Discover more from the 1890 journal
Black Farmers in University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Small Farm Program Gain Opportunities Through 1890 Foundation-Sam’s Club Partnership
The Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff recently held a meeting to showcase marketing and supplier opportunities for small vegetable farmers. Guest speakers included Doug Cahoon, Sam’s Club Produce Merchant, and Quintin Gray, Agriculture Advisor at the 1890 Universities Foundation.
“Our guest speakers met with farmers from northeast, southeast and central Arkansas,” Dr. Henry English, head of the UAPB Small Farm Program said. “This group of attendees included growers of watermelon and southern peas, as well as farmers who use greenhouses in their operations.”
Cahoon, who purchases watermelons and other produce for Sam’s Club, spoke to attendees about opportunities for producers of seedless watermelons. He also recommended Walmart as a viable option for farmers who wish to grow and sell other forms and varieties of produce.
Gray presented on recent initiatives by the 1890 Universities Foundation. He then participated in a meeting led by Dr. Bruce W. McGowan, interim Dean/Director of the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, and school faculty.
During the meeting with Dean McGowan, Gray and a cohort of Walmart representatives learned about UAPB’s Sweet Potato Foundation Seed Program, which supplies high-quality, virus-indexed planting materials to farmers. They were then able to sample sweet potato pies made from sweet potatoes grown at UAPB and learn about other value-added products made from the crop.
“The 1890 Foundation is working to create opportunities for farmers who are part of the Extension work taking place at 1890 Universities like the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff," said Quintin Gray, Agrculture Consultant for the 1890 Universities Foundation. "We look forward to celebrating those farmers in our 1890 community who become produce suppliers with Sam’s Club."
Dr. English said the meeting was part of the UAPB Small Farm Program’s regular educational meetings. The program provides Extension outreach assistance to socially disadvantaged, limited-resource and small producers (those with an income of $250,000 or less). The program is designed to help vegetable and row crops, livestock and forestry producers enhance their operations.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.