U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper joined DSU President Harry L. Williams on campus Aug. 17 in celebrating a $400,000 USDA grant to the University’s Cooperative Extension to provide outreach assistance to underserved farmers in Delaware.
(L-r) U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper talks with farm producers Jeymy Vidro and her mother Carmen Matamoros, both of Georgetown, and Janice Truitt, a Dover resident who is also a DSU alumna, '73. Looking on is DSU President Harry L. Williams.
Delaware State University is one of 40 institutions to be awarded a competitive USDA grant to provide outreach assistance to social disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Sen. Carper and USDA officials met earlier that day at the DSU Martin Luther King Student Center with Delaware farmer producers to explain how they will be able to benefit from the grant. They then joined Dr. Williams, along with Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the DSU College of Agriculture and Related Sciences, and Dr. Albert Essel, associate dean of the DSU Cooperative Extension for a media event on the grant.
Delaware’s senior U.S. senator commended DSU for applying for the grant. “We need DSU to play a big role in the economic development efforts in this state,” Sen. Carper said. “This is the kind of work that DSU can do a lot of and help farmers Delaware.”
Dr. Essel said DSU will use the grant to provide farmers with technical assistance and education through USDA programs, help them identify profitable farm enterprises, as well as provide them assistance in the development of marketing strategies.
“We will do it through different education strategies, including working one-on-one with individual farmers at their homes and farms, through group workshop and also by taking them on trips to successful farms,” Dr. Essel said. “We will be targeting underserved farmers in all three Delaware counties.”