ABOUT US

Operation Spring Plant, Inc. is a legal grassroots non-profit entity chartered under the General Statutes of North Carolina in 1987.   It was established as a conservation organization and is composed of black and other small farmers and concerned urban citizens from Region K and surrounding counties of North Carolina.  The organization has a history of managing outreach, technical and programmatic federal and state grants and has provided over 30 years of service to farmers and landowners in North and South Carolina.  We have conducted extensive outreach in Good Agricultural Practices, Good Handling Practices, as well as, the development of alternative fuels and other natural resources and environmental issues that will sustain both the small farmer and the environment.  OSP is the intermediary between rural communities, farmers and our partners, which include USDA agencies, universities, corporations, and other non-profit organizations like us.   Operation Spring Plant is dedicated to helping black and other small family farmers to continue farming, preserve the land, stay informed and secure markets for continued growth.  We accomplish these goals through educational programs, technical and marketing assistance with hands-on projects and workshops which help black and other small farmers to maintain their farm operation.

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Operation Spring Plant, Inc. was organized in 1987 by Reverend Z. D. Harris, Phillip and Dorathy Barker, and Dr. Benjamin Chavis, in an effort to assist North Carolina’s only two remaining black-owned dairy farms in maintaining their owner/operator status.  They soon learned how vital information, and access to it, was for continued success.  As they learned the system, they vowed to assist others in navigating the sometimes frustrating process.  OSP continues this tradition of providing educational training financial and technical assistance for black and other small family farmers of North Carolina.

 

STAFF

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Dorathy Barker, Executive Director

A leader and advocate for small family farmers with 33 years of experience in farming and market development.  Mrs. Barker is a co-founder of Operation Spring Plant, Inc.  She currently serves as the Executive Director, where she has been actively involved in all OSP programs and has been a major contributor in each of the organizational accomplishments.  

 

Phillip J. Barker, Co-Project Director / Farm Tech I

A leader and advocate for small family farmers with 44 years of experience in farming, animal husbandry and marketing.  Mr. Barker is a co-founder of Operation Spring Plant, Inc.  He is very experienced in providing outreach and technical assistance and eager to share his knowledge and experience to assist in the sustainability of the small farm and farmer.  He is the lead Farm Tech for OSP and works with our network of farmers to provide education and technical assistance.

 

Phillip R. Barker, Farm Tech II

An experienced Farm Tech with over fifteen years of experience in farming.  He has supervised farm safety, planting, harvest and post-harvest production.  He is a certified breeder of large animals and serves as Operations Spring Plants Farm Tech II and works with our network of farmers to provide technical support.  He is well versed in sustainable conservation methods and practices.  
 

George Ammons, Outreach Specialist

A community organizer an advocate for farmers dedicated to keeping youth and young farmers connected to the land.    He was a contracted poultry and small grains producer with over 20 years of experience in Duplin County, NC.  He has served as Operation Spring Plants Outreach Specialist for over ten years coordinating veterans, women, and new and beginning farmers for USDA Programs and Services.  

 

Ramona Porter,  Administrative Assistant

A farm owner and advocate for small family farmers.  She has a BA in Graphic Arts and has served as Operation Spring Plants Administrative Assistant since 2009, providing administrative support to ensure efficient organizational operation.  She helps with planning and implementation of meetings, workshops, demonstrations and conferences and provides technology support.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Ken Cooper, Chairman                                                                                                   Wade Cole, Member

Tolokun Omokunde, Interim, Vice-Chair, Parliamentarian                                             Audrey Hawley, Member

Betty Richards, Secretary                                                                                              Demetrius Hunt, Member

Demetria Burwell, Treasurer                                                                                           Robert E. Jones, Member