Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

B. Lynn Jones


The overall purpose of this study was to provide a case study analysis of the implementation process of the Small Farmers Outreach Training and Technical Assistance (2501) Program with implications for African American farmers. The 2501 Program is an agricultural educational program that was designed to reverse or slow the decline of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.;In 1994, twenty-seven small farm projects were established as a result of the 2501 Program. Institutions including South Carolina State University, Fort Valley State University, Tuskegee University, Alcorn State University, Lincoln University, and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund received five-year grants to provide technical and outreach assistance to African American farmers. These six small farm projects were the focus of this study. The experiences of the participating six small farm projects were used to provide evidence in assisting the researcher to: (1) realistically capture the internal dynamics of the 2501 Program at the project level, (2) examine the implementation process of the 2501 Program and identify obstacles that impeded the successful implementation of the 2501 Program, and (3) determine if the 2501 Program has achieved its overall objective.;The data for this study were collected using the case study qualitative methodological approach. Interviews, participant observations, and document analysis were used to collect the data.;The findings of this study revealed that the 2501 Program, in particular the six participating small farm projects, were effective in ensuring the long-term sustainability of African American farmers. However, there were several factors that severely restricted the successful implementation of the overall 2501 Program. Specifically, the main factor identified was the provision of guaranteed and timely funding to the small farm projects working at the grassroots level. Funding at the national level to the small farm projects was sporadic and uncertain which affected the ability of the small farm projects to successfully implement their programs. In addition, the findings also revealed that the six participating projects were actively engaged in recruiting participants, disseminating information, assisting farmers in obtaining loans, establishing cooperatives, and introducing farmers to alternative enterprises.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Tasha Monique Hargrove



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

178 pages