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May 2022


Men & women wearing face masks sitting in folding chairs in facing rows in a large room with a red floor.Ed Sheldon, Indiana and NAP Extension outreach coordinator, represented Indiana AgrAbility at the March 19 Indiana Black Loam Conference in Bloomington, Indiana. Ed presented about AgrAbility's services to underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, distributed AgrAbility resources, and visited with conference participants as they browsed the exhibit area.

A series of four Indiana Black Loam Conference programs have been held throughout Indiana in 2022: Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, and Bloomington. A fifth program will be held in Indianapolis in May. These workshops are specifically targeted toward BIPOC (Black and indigenous people of color) and socially disadvantaged farmers, with most participants being from urban areas. The programs are hosted by the Legacy Farming and Health Group, based in Lyles Station, Indiana, and the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, a collaboration of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, and Purdue University.

The Indiana Black Loam Conferences have been a great opportunity to share AgrAbility's services with underserved audiences who typically would not participate in programs targeted to "traditional" agricultural producers. AgrAbility has been involved with all four workshops and will be present at the upcoming Indianapolis program.

Submitted by Ed Sheldon