|Dawn Mellion-Patin, Ph.D., SU Land-Grant Campus Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach, and the Cohort VI graduates of the Regional Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute.|
Baton Rouge, La. – Twenty-three small farmers from 11 states received certificates of completion during a graduation ceremony for Cohort VI of the SU Land-Grant Campus’ Regional Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute.
The ceremony was held on June 1, 2018 in the Southern University Law Center.
Dawn Mellion-Patin, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach at the SU Land-Grant Campus, presided over the ceremony and SU Land-Grant Campus Chancellor-Dean, Bobby R. Phills, Ph.D. welcomed the group.
During the ceremony, M. Ray McKinnie, Ph.D., Dean and Extension Administrator at Virginia State University discussed how the leadership institute was developed; while USDA/1890 Program Manager Allison Johnson encouraged the graduates to continue to utilize the USDA’s services and program to assist them in their future agricultural operations.
Cindy Ayers-Elliot, Ph.D., CEO of Foot Print Farms in Jackson, Miss., served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. Ayers-Elliot was introduced by Anthony Reed from Alcorn State University.
Foot Print Farms was established after 9/11 when Ayer-Elliot, a former investment banker, had a desire to do more in life. The 68-acre sustainable farm serves as an outdoor classroom where visitors and members of Jackson’s underserved neighborhoods learn to grow their food, while receiving education about healthy eating through partnerships with churches, schools, foundations and community organizations.
Ayers-Elliot encouraged the graduates to continue to work with the Southern University Ag Center, foster the friendships they have development with their classmates, try to work with co-ops and utilize the USDA’s services and programs.
“I can grow that,” said Patin in her closing remarks. “If you need to grow courage to jump over the mountain, than grow courage. If you need to grow wisdom to step back from the situation, grow wisdom. If you need to grow courage to step into uncharted waters, grow courage. Remember, I can grow that.”
The Cohort VI graduates of the Regional Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute are:
LeMario Brown - Fort Valley, GA
Davon Goodwin - Raeford, NC
Randolph Keaton - Riegelwood, NC
Kenneth Swift - East Point, GA
Kim Butler – Baton Rouge, LA
Nicolette Gordon – Greensburg, LA
Erika Muhammad – Dallas, TX
Dionnette Swinney - Rockingham, SC
Kimberly Aultman – Slidell, LA
Reginald Davis – Mobile, AL
Charles Greenlea – Atlanta, GA
Fenton Pope - Collins, MS
T’arie Todam – Manassas, VA
Robert Bell – Birmingham, AL
Wendell Dean – Louisville, KY
Jeremy Hendrix – Baton Rouge, LA
Patrick Richardson – Folsom, LA
Marco Toney – Eudora, AR
Herbert Brown, Sr. – Freeman, VA
Michelle Farris - Ventress, LA
Kellie Johnson – Orangeburg, SC
Thomas Roberson – Fredericksburg, VA
Albert White – Baton Rouge, LA
Click here to view photos from the ceremony.