Extension Specialist Reaching Out to Missouri's Minorities

FEBRUARY 20, 2007 - Posted at 3:56 p.m. CST

SPRINGFIELD, MO - An agriculture official says minority farmers in Missouri will likely become a more important part of the state's farming base.

But University of Missouri Extension specialist Jose Garcia says it will take a lot of effort to get there.  And he says that starts with simple steps like providing minorities with information about how to make farming pay off.

Garcia is leading a workshop in Joplin this week that he hopes will draw participants from a large Laotian Hmong community.  He also hopes to get plenty of Hispanics, blacks and women.

The primary focus of the workshop will be working with federal agencies to obtain loans and other assistance. Garcia says he also hopes to teach the minorities about opportunities in sustainable agriculture.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)