The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and Cargill are launching a new learning program to advance agricultural supply chain access for Black farmers. This collaboration advances the Black Farmer Equity Initiative and will help increase diverse suppliers for our corporate members in the food industry.
The first cohort of the program will include the owners of 10 emerging family-owned farms. Participants will complete an eight-week learning curriculum focused on growing their capacity to take on major national contracts with NMSDC’s corporate members. Learning topics will include:
- Getting certified as a minority business enterprise (MBE) and how it can open opportunities for Black farmers.
- Accessing capital, getting capital ready, and leveraging micro-loans.
- Addressing issues of growth specific to the farming industry such as storage, putting acreage into production and equipment management.
- Building negotiation skills.
- Developing a plan for and managing growth.
- Reviewing opportunities and challenges shared by corporate members.
At the conclusion of the learning program, participants will also receive valuable ongoing business support including:
- Being connected through a customized online learning community so they can network and build relationships with each other.
- Receiving assistance in completing the certification process with NMSDC, with certification fees covered by this program.
- Having the opportunity to apply for growth-oriented micro-loans through a Business Consortium Fund opportunity specifically for farmers in the program.
- Participating in four mentoring and matchmaking sessions with participating corporate members assisting to create direct relationship-building and contract opportunities. Mentoring will focus on navigating the procurement process and responding effectively to requests for proposals.
“This program recognizes the importance Black farmers play in creating a resilient and sustainable food system in the United States. I am excited to see how this program will make the agricultural industry a more racially equitable space while contributing to NMSDC’s audacious goal of achieving $1 trillion in annual revenue by NMSDC-certified MBEs,” said NMSDC CEO and President Ying McGuire.
The first cohort of the program will begin in January 2023 and will culminate with program participants beginning NMSDC certification.
“Cargill is working to address anti-Black racism. One tangible step we are taking is looking at our supply chains. We want to source from Black farmers and connect them with our customers,” said Cargill Supplier Diversity Program Leader Natalie McGrady.
Founded in 1972, NMSDC is the longest-operating business growth engine for the broadest group of systematically excluded communities of color (Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and Native American), and our impact goes far beyond the supply chain. It’s about upward mobility for the emerging majority of Americans, an equal shot at participating in the American experiment of free-market capitalism and entrepreneurship. Our work is about correcting the unequal access to wealth-building opportunities.
Cargill helps the world’s food system work for you. We connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients and families with daily essentials — from the foods they eat to the floors they walk on. Our 155,000 team members around the world innovate with purpose, empowering our partners and communities as we work to nourish the world in a safe, responsible, sustainable way.
From feed that reduces methane emissions to waste-based renewable fuels, the possibilities are boundless. But our values remain the same. We put people first. We reach higher. We do the right thing. It’s how we’ve met the needs of the people we call neighbors and the planet we call home for 157 years — and how we’ll do so for generations to come. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.