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Staff report

The prominent community organization, Men & Women United for Youth & Families, is leading an empowering initiative to combat food insecurity with a multifaceted event scheduled for April 13, 2024, at the Workforce Development Building of Bladen Community College. The day-long event, running from 8:30 am till 2:30 pm, aims to bridge the crucial gap in food insecurity through education and resources tailored for local farmers and the community.

Keynote sessions include a “Farmer Resource Overview” panel discussion that will shed light on the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources & Conservation Service, and Soil and Water Conservation, focusing on the programs they offer to support farmers. This foundational session will equip attendees with essential knowledge about available assistance and program benefits, positioning them to take full advantage of these offerings.

Another cornerstone of the event is the “Applying for EQIP” workshop, a detailed session that will guide farmers through the process of securing Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding. This includes preparing the necessary Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) documents, thus opening doors to EQIP funding and Climate SMART funds, which are vital for sustainable agriculture.

Moreover, the “Business Essentials” workshop promises to be a highlight for agricultural entrepreneurs. Participants will receive invaluable insights into primary business practices, focusing on the components that form the backbone of a successful agricultural business plan. This workshop is designed to not only provide knowledge but also to offer tangible resources such as a business plan template, which will assist attendees in structuring their farming businesses effectively.

This event is a significant step towards strengthening local agricultural communities, addressing food scarcity, and promoting sustainable farming practices. The inclusion of registration links and the organization’s website, menandwomenunited.org, indicates a well-organized initiative with a clear call to action for community involvement. With its comprehensive approach, Men & Women United for Youth & Families is set to make a substantial impact in the fight against food insecurity.

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