Besh, a Mississippi native and host of the public television show "Chef John Besh's New Orleans," has set up low-interest loans of up to $20,000 to help local producers build up their businesses.
The program also matches those getting loans with students in the Tulane University MBA program to help them with business plans.
Kenny and Jamie Mauthe of Progress, Miss., were the first to get a loans made available through the John Besh Foundation.
Their farm was nearly wiped out after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the storm forced them to sell off a large portion of their livestock.
Now, the Mauthes sell their dairy products in farmers markets and to restaurants.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)