MU Extension and SBDC partner to help farmers during COVID
The University of Missouri Extension and the state’s Small Business Development Centers say they have begun working closely together to provide farmers with business support through the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.
David Steffes, director of the center’s agricultural business services, tells Brownfield they want farmers to know they are here to help them, “Your operation is just as much of a business as any of the shops you see in a downtown area or a main street in rural America so we are here to help you find a way to continue to be successful.”
Steffes says they can offer farmers counseling through the cash flow process which is extremely important in light of low commodity prices AND they offer export assistance, “We’re partnered with Midwest Food Export and have our own director of international trade within the SBDC that can help identify where new markets might exist or markets might be opening back up with better prices.”
Mallory Rahe, MU Extension educational director of Ag Business Policy there are things that can be done including bringing more value-added processing to the state, and, “There are producers who could be diversifying what they’re growing and the markets they’re targeting and we can help people get there.”
The Small Business Administration has provided additional funding to the Missouri center.
Both Steffes and Rahe tell Brownfield farmers can reach out to them directly for assistance:
David Steffes, Director of Agricultural Business Services, Missouri SBDC; 573-882-0045; email@example.com
Mallory Rahe, Educational Director of Agriuculture Business Policy Programs with MU Extension; 573-884-7606; firstname.lastname@example.org