by Jean Willoughby, Organizational Development Director, Agrarian Trust & Trainer with the Racial Equity Institute Many thanks to Earthseed Land Collective members for contributing to this article Planting the Seeds The Earthseed Land Collective was formally established in 2012 by
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.
The story of Wingate Farm is firmly grounded in the rich and complex dynamics of multi-generational family farming, in which everyone must come together to plan the future of the family’s farm. Through their shared commitment and use of innovative tools to promote farmland affordability, the farmers at Wingate have ensured that the farm will remain accessible to future generations.
We commissioned and presented a new poster to visually explain how we’ve mapped out the structure of an agrarian commons and engaged in discussions with a number of legacy farmers who expressed interest. Check out our new Agrarian Commons poster (version 1.0) and let us know what you think!
FaithLands, through its fiscal sponsor Agrarian Trust, seeks to hire a part-time project coordinator to initiate, organize, and coordinate the FaithLands work in eastern North Carolina. The mission of FaithLands is to support faith communities in making lands available for sustainable, agroecological farming, especially to those in society marginalized by virtue of class, race, gender, economic status, and other factors. This FaithLands initiative in eastern NC is being led by a coalition of groups including F.A.R.M.S., The Conservation Fund, Agrarian Trust, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
That these farms are going to change hands is inevitable; that the next generation of farmers who so desperately want to farm them cannot afford to buy them is a stark reality. How can land trusts help turn the tide against the mounting barriers faced by our nation’s farmers?
Video: FAO International Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers featuring Agrarian Trust Board Chair
The storm is upon us We bowed heads in prayer as Tropical Storm Michael lashed the sides of our Winston-Salem hotel. We prayed for folks across North Carolina who had just survived Hurricane Florence and were now being struck by
Agrarian Trust staff had the pleasure of meeting with farmers, landowners, and organizers at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY and The Watershed Center in Millerton, NY in late October. We learned a lot from our colleagues in the Hudson Valley and reflected on the economic and social aspects of our beginning agrarian commons work. Above all, it was an honor to spend time with organizations and people engaged in such compelling and inspiring place-based work with larger justice implications.
We hope you’ve been enjoying the changing of the seasons. We’re looking forward to the crackle of leaves and harvests of autumn—and to the many upcoming events where we’ll have the opportunity to meet and share more on our work to create a Agrarian Commons. As we travel the land, meeting with farmers and communities, we’ve been sharing our vision and documenting successful stories that inform our approach to land stewardship and equity…