Community & Economic Development
Provides research-based educational programs that help people address concerns about their communities social, economic and environmental conditions. Programs are broad based to help community leaders understand the complex social and economic interactions. Others are very specific, like the programs to help people form non-profit organizations and assist the faith based community to maximize its social and economic impact on the communities.
Many residents of Louisiana are small scale farmers with low-income. These citizens tend to be less educated and unable to participate in many of the opportunities of mainstream America. They suffer economically and socially because of Louisiana's severely depressed petroleum and agricultural industries. Overall, unemployment tends to be high, especially for minority and other under-represented populations. Many of the citizens live in substandard housing and attend inadequate schools. Also, many of the more aggressive citizens continue to migrate in search of a better quality of life, leaving a group of citizens and leaders who lack preparation to deal with current issues.
Areas of focus for the economics, marketing, policy and community development research program over the next several years include, but are not limited to:
- Study potential barriers of U.S. agricultural policy to the success of small farmers' participation in the industry.
- Conduct marketing assessment of nontraditional product and enterprises.
- Study the feasibility of creating cooperatives among small-limited resource farmers.
- Study input requirements for nontraditional crops, livestock, and other related business enterprises.
- Study management and marketing practices of small-limited resource farm enterprises.