In America’s farming community a 2012 Agriculture Census found that 8 percent of American farmers are minorities; of this 8 percent, less than 3 percent are African Americans. The history of these farmers is long and vibrant.
The Indiana Black Farmers Co-Op is an organization that unites Indiana’s Black farmers in their mission to improve the community through engaging youth, fostering community, and improving food access in the areas that are in need of it. The Co-Op’s members sell their products at the Indiana Black Farmer’s Market in Indianapolis and collaborate to ensure a wide variety of products are available.
Here in Southern Indiana is Lyles Station; one of the last remaining African American settlements in the state. It serves to preserve the heritage of this early 1800’s settlement with it’s museum, programs, and tours. Among it’s history is a tradition of agriculture which remains today.
On the national level is The National Black Farmers Association which represents African American farmers and their families in the United States. It’s education and advocacy have focused on civil rights, land retention, access to resources, agricultural training, and rural economic development.
These groups and the farming communities working alongside them are driving towards the betterment of our agriculture systems, the education of our communities, and improving the connections between farmers and those they serve. In preserving their heritage it carries their legacy into the future.