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Program Spotlight: MicroProducer Academy for Newcomer Farmers

Hosted on June 20, 2024, the training was delivered by​​ Eugenia Gusev, MA, International Affairs and International Public Management; Aley Kent, BA, Biology and Society; ​​Cecilia Lapp Stoltzfus, BA, Environmental Science and Sustainability; and ​​Theresa Allan, BA, Science in Society.

Many newcomers to the U.S. have agricultural backgrounds, and some are interested in farming as a source of income upon resettlement. However, newcomers who want to launch a successful agribusiness can face several challenges, such as land access, limited resources, and agricultural support systems that are often difficult for non-English speakers to navigate. In response to this need for support, the IRC’s New Roots program designed the MicroProducer Academy (MPA): a tailored curriculum that provides a framework to help newcomer farmers successfully grow produce to match market demand in the U.S. This adaptable curriculum has been used across many IRC New Roots Food and Farming Programs—from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Seattle, Washington—with about 50 farmers from diverse ethnic groups undergoing training each year. This webinar will explore the MPA resource topics, components, and approaches to help service providers better address newcomer-specific challenges to engaging in agribusiness in the U.S. Participants will hear from a variety of experts in the fields of food security and agriculture for newcomers and will have the opportunity to ask questions.​

By the end of this webinar, you will be able to:
– ​​Identify challenges faced by newcomers who want to engage in farming as a business in the U.S. ​
– Describe three linguistically accessible and culturally responsive approaches to farmer training for newcomers ​
– Name the key content, topics, and intended audience of the MicroProducer Academy training
​- Apply key strategies and best practices to ensure effective implementation of the MicroProducer Academy