RVG Small Acreage Program
The RGV Small Acreage Program is an educational project created in 2016 to benefit underserved populations of the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). The RGV is a predominately Hispanic region located in the southernmost part of Texas bordering Mexico and comprised the counties of Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr and Willacy. The region leads the nation in terms of the percentage of population living in poverty and number of persons without educational degrees at all levels (Census Data, V2017). Small-scale producers living in deprived communities are traditionally characterized by their limited resources and lack of technical skills. As a result, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers have lower possibilities to succeed in a competitive market compared to their more knowledgeable and larger counterparts. The purpose of this program is to train socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and provide learning opportunities to young farmers and veterans through workshops, field days, in situ and online demonstrations, and the creation of internship and mentoring opportunities. Training and outreach activities are focused on crop production, irrigation and water management, livestock production, marketing and business planning, value-added, and how to successfully participate in public assistance programs.