The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has been awarded a $900,000 grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) to help establish a fresh produce and packing business at the former Patriot Ford facility in Carthage, Mississippi. The grant will be utilized over a three-year period to renovate the Patriot Ford facility into a packing and processing plant and also to create six fresh produce farms in the outlying tribal communities.
Approximately seven permanent, full-time jobs will be created once the project is underway and operating at full capacity. In addition, participants in the Tribal Day Labor Program will be utilized during the planting and harvesting seasons. The tribe is partnering with Mississippi State University to establish a formal training curriculum for full time employees, day labor participants, as well as the Tribe’s Youth Opportunity Program.
"We are excited by the prospect of creating a new business on the reservation,” said Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson. “Not only will this project create job opportunities for our tribal members in the outlying communities, but we will be able to offer locally grown, fresh produce to regional customers."
The project will be completed in three phases, and will include the development of farms in two tribal communities each year for the next three years.