Farmers of color in the U.S. have long been disadvantaged by systemic and institutional racism, including discrimination in accessing credit, loans, resources, and markets. As a result, farmers of color make up just 4% of all U.S. farmers.
RAFI-USA founded the Farmers of Color Network in 2017 to support these farmers and grow their numbers. The Network provides farmer-led technical assistance and funding opportunities, and hosts farm tours, networking events, and gatherings to highlight ancestral traditions and knowledge, as well as explore market solutions. Currently, the program serves farmers of color in the Southeast with plans to expand in the future.
In 2020, the Network responded quickly to the disruptions in the food system from the coronavirus pandemic. We helped farmers who had lost their markets connect with new buyers, including facilitating direct-to-consumer purchasing and assisting emergency feeding programs that distribute fresh food sourced from farmers of color to people hard-hit by the pandemic. The Network also supported farmers in adopting COVID-19 safety protocols and answered many questions.
We continued our second round of funding farmers of color through our Infrastructure grants in the spring of 2021. This summer we plan to safely resume farm visits and brigades as well as other programming to provide educational and networking opportunities for farmers in the network.
This project is supported in part by a three-year grant for the Farmers of Color Network from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as The Fund to Build Grassroots Power at Windward Fund, the 11th Hour Project, and the Seeds, Soul and Culture Fund/New Field Foundation.
Interested in Joining the Network?
Click here to complete the inquiry form.
FOCN Staff Members & Contact Information
Edna Rodriguez, Executive Director, [email protected]
Tahz Walker, Senior Program Manager, [email protected]
Laketa Smith, Program Manager, [email protected]
Nikki Pressley, Program Coordinator, [email protected]
Sabine Frid-Bernards, Grants Coordinator, [email protected]
B. Ray Jeffers, Federal Policy Manager