Farm Advocate Stories

These blog posts share stories of Farm Advocates and farmers who have benefited from the work of Farm Advocates. They explain the challenges that family farmers face, and the unique role that Farm Advocates play in helping farmers navigate and overcome those challenges.

Farm Advocate Link

Photo: Ebet Roberts

Luciano Alvardo is a blueberry farmer in North Carolina. When he first applied for a USDA loan to expand his operation, he never received a response from his loan officer. He was told that his second loan application was lost and that he’d have to wait another year until he could apply again. That loan application was rejected. Eventually Luciano connected with Farm Advocate Benny Bunting, and they were able to appeal the decision and eventually secure financing for Luciano’s family farm.

Mona Lee Brock has worked to save farms and farmers in crisis for more than 30 years. This clip from our film Homeplace Under Fire shows her journey to help farmers.

Kelli Emenes is a cattle farmer in Louisiana, who experienced major farm damage and losses after Hurricane Katrina. Farm Advocate Betty Puckett worked with Kelli to navigate USDA disaster programs that helped Kelli clear her land of fallen trees and fix her fence.

Ben Burkett is a farmer and Farm Advocate in Mississippi with the Mississippi Association of Cooperatives. He provides training and technical assistance to farmers across the southeast, with a particular emphasis on cooperative development. Cooperatives provide new and more regular market opportunities for farmer members, as well as a sense of community.

Shirley Sherrod is a Farm Advocate in Georgia who has spent her career fighting for fairness, justice, and equality in America’s agricultural system. As the founder and executive director of the Southwest Georgia Project, Shirley educates, engages, and empowers farmers and keeps them on their land.

Farm Advocate Link

Photo: Rob Amberg

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