HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Since 1996, Alabama A&M University’s Small Farms Research Center has helped minority farmers in the state of Alabama. With their latest reward from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they’re able to provide more programs and resources to benefit those communities.

The research center competed against hundreds of agriculture programs before becoming one of 16 entities to receive a combined $2.2 million.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the USDA,” said SFRC Assistant Director Alicia Chaverest. “They recognize that we’re doing great things in the community and continuing to assist small and limited resource farmers throughout the state of Alabama.”

A&M’s Small Farms Research Center was awarded more than $198,000. The money will help educate underserved producers and small farmers about risk management and climate-smart farm practices. All major concepts Chaverest says minority farms lack.

Farmers, like Marguerite McClintock, know how it feels to need a helping hand with farming tips. She says Chaverest and the SFRC team have been there every step of the way.

“Having someone that keeps an eye on what’s going on out there is just like having one more tool in your box,” said McClintock.

With new resources, certifications and programs being a feasible reality, Chaverest believes big things are in store for Alabama’s small farmers.