Black Empowerment Through Agriculture
There are four main issues that plague black communities nationwide: food deserts, food related health issues, lack of education and poor economic development. The black community is always the one that suffers the most as it pertains to any major events that occur in this country. COVID-19, tariff wars, borders closing, stock market plummeting etc. has had and will have a huge impact on the US economy. These will only exacerbate the issues that plague the black community.
Our organization has been tackling these issues since 2013 by offering classes, programs and hands-on training that teaches about the agriculture industry to socially disadvantaged groups with an emphasis in black/African American Communities. Many of the issues previous stated that affect the black community could be directly combatted through the agriculture industry by the individuals themselves. To do this however, you must have a population of people that are educated, trained in this field and the development of agribusinesses in these Communities. Agribusiness is a business engaged in the production, processing, marketing, distribution, or exporting of agricultural products. The term includes any related business the primary function of which is providing goods or services to an agricultural enterprise. The number of black-owned agribusinesses in the midwestern states of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana are almost nonexistent. While agriculture is not just farming, farming is a huge sector in this industry.
Farming is Essential
Farming is big business. According to the 2017 Agriculture Census conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Services (NASS) there were 2,042,220 farming operations here in the United States. While there are numerous farming operations throughout this country the number of farming operations owned by socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers is very low, with African American/black farmers almost being non-existent. At the height of black farming in 1920, black farmers operated 925,710 farms, about one-seventh of all farm operations in the United States. As of 2012, African American/black farmers made up less than 2 percent of all farmers. Today there are just ~45000 Black/African American farmers. Black/African American farmers are almost non-existent, especially in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Black/African American farmers in the United States have endured difficulties and have been denied opportunities and abilities to sustain themselves as well as their livelihood. Unfortunately due to racist practices through the USDA, disenfranchisement and in addition to unscrupulous business agreements made with African American farmers the playing field has never been fair.