The ISFOP is part of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE), created to help the small farmers and ranchers of Missouri, especially those who are socially disadvantaged and underserved, to raise the level of efficiency on their farms while taking good care of the soil, water and the environment. A vast body of resources is available from universities, government agencies and all sorts of organizations for small farmers. Unfortunately, many of the small farmers and ranchers are unaware of the information on opportunities. ISFOP will make farmers aware and assist them to access these resources so that they can improve their farms and farming operations, which in turn will improve their overall well-being.
The information provided by ISFOP to small farmers will help them adapt to a rapidly changing economy. We work in partnership with the University of Missouri Extension (UME), other USDA and state agencies and nongovernmental organizations to provide research-based information on various farm topics to help farmers:
- Lower input costs.
- Improve farming skills.
- Increase yields/productions.
- Improve record keeping systems.
- Try new enterprises.
- Find niche markets and improve marketing skills.
- Add value to the harvest/products.
In addition to working with small farmers and ranchers, we also focus on urban food production in the two largest cities in our work area. One of our goals is to help limited resource minority residents, especially the elderly, get access to fresh, nutritious produce. We have formed partnerships with various groups and community garden organizations that promote urban agriculture. If you are interested in growing a garden in your backyard or in your neighborhood, please contact us.
As interests arise in various aspects of farming, we will be offering relevant workshops or trainings.
Here are some of the workshops we have offered in the past:
- Community Gardening
- Goat Farming
- Vegetable Grafting
- Native Plants for Pollination and in Landscaping
- Grow Your Farm
- Pastured Poultry
- High Tunnels
You are eligible to participate in the ISFOP if
- Your family lives on a farm.
- Your family provides the management and most of the labor on your farm.
- Your total family income is less than $50,000 annually.
- You have innovative ideas, and you want to improve your farm income.
- You are a new farmer or an urban gardener in need of assistance.