While securing land tenure is a challenge facing farmers of every race in this country, Agrarian Trust knows that land access is a greater barrier for farmers of color, and is centering the work of making affordable land security available to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) farmers. More than 98% of farmland in the U.S. is owned by white people while more than 70% of the farmworkers who seed, cultivate, weed, and harvest the crops that feed us are people of color. This gross injustice needs to change.
Agrarian Trust’s Commons Alliance Facilitator, Johanna Rosen, will be presenting “Radical Collaborations in Land Access” with Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems on November 5th from 2:00 […]
On May 4th, 2020, Agrarian Trust announced the launch of a transformative new model for community-based farm and ranch ownership and tenure, the Agrarian Commons. After several years of development and […]
This is the story of the revival of two dairy farms as a result of regenerative farming practices, savvy marketing, and an openness to sharing land and cows. It’s written […]
by Vanessa García Polanco What do you want the future of your land to be? “Nos robaron la tierra,” they stole the land from us, exclaimed my great aunt Tia […]
by Vanessa García Polanco When you’re driving in rural America and pass a farm, do you ever wonder how it came to be or do you just assume it has […]
In the United States today, 98% of farmland is owned by white people. That raises some critical questions. Namely, how can we in the land trust community—historically white-led and governed—achieve racial equity and social justice in our work for land access for the next generation of farmers? In our latest post, we reflect on how the Racial Equity Institute’s “Groundwater Approach” provides a powerful framework for understanding racial inequity and creating systemic change.
Fordhall Farm shows how enterprising young farmers can engage with the community, mutualise the land and put it into trusteeship using the Industrial and Provident Society structure, raise the purchase capital from members and balance community access rights with farming needs. Ben and Charlotte Hollins were given a Schumacher Award in October 2006.
The National Trust of England is the country’s largest owner of farmland. Agricultural land is one aspect of the organization’s conservation goals. Established in the late 1800s, with a vision for preserving the nation’s heritage and open spaces, the charity organization has continued to uphold the value of their founders. Originally established as an Association not-for-profit in 1884, the trust was soon after given more solidity through various acts of British Parliament. The organization remains independent of government and relies on grants, donors and other sources of income, rather than direct government subsidy. Some of the funds come from admission to and products from the trusts Home Farm as well as other preserved historic estates.
Land Access Strategy: Black U.S. Farmers Employ Numerous Strategies to Maintain Land Ownership and Farm Operating Independence
Black farmers have developed countless creative and enduring responses to the challenges of discrimination and disinvestment in US agriculture. Far too many of the initiatives led by Black farmers in the past did not thrive due in part to a hostile social and political climate that devalued and discouraged their efforts. The continued work of organizations such as the Federation of Southern Cooperatives helps ensure that the innovative approaches to land ownership and agricultural production developed by Black farmers will be recognized and documented, as well as carried forward by future generations. We still have much to learn from the history of Black farmers in America.