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Build the Next Generation CA Black Farmers

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We are fundraising to continue to build upon a multi-year and multi-generational collective effort initiated by BLACK FARMERS and farmer equity advocates to develop a tangible solution to the challenge of land access and land tenure which is the #1 challenge facing FARMERS OF COLOR.

This project will result in the acquisition of a 50-100 acre parcel of land in Yolo County, California (which lies in the Greater Sacramento Metropolitan Area), for the purpose of creating accessible agriculture opportunities and access to land for BLACK FARMERS, first and foremost, and other FARMERS OF COLOR.

This project is led by Nelson Hawkins, founder of We Grow Farms and serving as the Agriculture Project Manager. Our primary objective is to build a Black-led community farmer cooperative dedicated to equity and resilience for
1) empowering next-generation Black farmers and other farmers of color
2) urban communities seeking connection to the land and local food
3) the health of the land and climate

To see this dream become a reality, we are actively fundraising for the following objectives:
  • Hire counsel to establish long-term cooperative 501(c)(3) $12,250
  • Identify a fiscal sponsor to receive the state funding which will allow us to purchase land and equipment, develop infrastructure and administer our operating budget to pay our leadership team $5,650
  • Real estate due diligence: Evaluate properties in part for their readiness, and minimal upfront investment costs to productively farm, perform soil and water tests $7,750
  • Secure down payment for agricultural property in Yolo County $24,350


Your generous contribution will directly support the work being done by the Ujamaa Farmer Collective Team to achieve this land acquisition and ultimately the development of long-term land security resulting in:
  • Increased access to healthy, culturally relevant, naturally grown foods for the local community - especially BIPOC communities
  • The development of farmer training programs and a community gathering space for healing, learning, nourishment and economic revitalization
  • Environmental education and connection with the natural world for local youth and adults
  • Farming and land stewardship practices that help mitigate and even reduce the effects of climate change and environmental racism
  • The development of a network of Black-led community farms in the region that support and complement each other with regard to food production, processing, marketing, and distribution

To see this dream become a reality, we are actively working on the following goals:
  • Evaluating properties in part for their readiness, and minimal upfront investment costs to productively farm.
  • Identifying a fiscal sponsor to receive the state funding which will allow us to purchase land and equipment, develop infrastructure and administer our operating budget to pay our leadership team

Our Local Advisory Council of leaders, farmers, educators and food system advocates has established a governance structure to guide the local leadership team managing the project
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BACKGROUND
Built upon the work of AB 1348: The Farmer Equity Act, a compassionate group of advocates within the CDFA BIPOC Advisory Committee came together with stakeholders to develop a tangible solution to address the number one challenge facing historically underserved farmers of color as identified in the 2020 CDFA Farmer Equity Report, land tenure.

Together, we successfully secured a district request through the state budget to acquire a parcel of land between 60-100 acres in Yolo County. Our leadership team has identified several potential sites where we will launch this program, awaiting the release of the funds in Spring 2023 to purchase a suitable property.

The main purpose is to build a Black-led, BIPoC-centered multiple farm business cooperative dedicated to providing long-term, affordable land access for multiple existing BIPoC farmers/ranchers struggling with land security, implementing training programs to empower beginning and aspiring next-generation farmers, as well as connecting to urban communities seeking connection to the land and local food distribution

For more details on this project see Description and Activity and Land Uses below.

Ujamaa Farmer Collective

VISION AND GOALS
We envision equitable access to land and secure long-term tenure for BIPOC* farmers.
  • By providing lease opportunities and long-term land security on plots ranging from ½ acre - 20 acres, we can promote community rootedness, stewardship investments, business health and financial equity for underserved farmers.
*Black, Indigenous and People of Color
We envision this land as a resource for healthy, culturally-appropriate food, education/learning, and physical/spiritual connection for BIPoC communities.
  • By providing farmer training, community gathering space and appropriate programming, this land will become a safe resource for healing, learning, nourishment and connection while also being economically resilient.
We envision a thriving farm that serves as a model of climate-smart, regenerative agriculture, informed by the past and looking to the future.
  • By collaborating with partners and researchers who share our vision, we can turn this farm into a ‘launch pad’ for collective opportunity, resource-sharing and culture-shifting.
We envision a network of Black-led community farms that support and complement each other.
  • In the future, we see this as a foundational farm for a larger (perhaps statewide) Black-led cooperative farming enterprise – including food production, processing and distribution.

ACTIVITIES & LAND USES
To realize our vision, we will establish the following programs (Years 1 - 3):

Farm Lease Program: Provide short- and long-term land security, shared infrastructure and technical support to new-entry and land-ready farmers.
  • Trial-length and long-term leases for land-ready BIPoC land stewards, at affordable rates
  • Provided and shared infrastructure and tools (eg. greenhouses, wash stations, processing, cold/dry storage, tractors, etc..)
  • On-site technical assistance, facilitated skill-sharing and knowledge-building

Land Stewardship & Sustainability: Research, build and model regenerative, climate-smart, diverse agriculture practices that feed people while enhancing the local ecology
  • Soil retention and improvement practices
  • Water retention, efficiency, conservation practices
  • Habitat improvement practices
  • Regenerative/carbon farming
  • Energy self-sufficiency

Education & Community Service
  • Farm tours
  • Workshops & conferences designed to serve BIPOC communities
  • Facility rentals for events

Training & Workforce Development
  • Training program for beginning and aspiring BIPOC farmers, ranchers, land stewards
  • Workforce Development

Community Food Processing & Distribution
  • Commercial kitchen to make value-added products from on-site producers. Can also rent out to local black-owned food businesses




Donate

Donations 

  • Matthew Rose-Stark
    • $50 
    • 24 d
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 25 d
  • Anonymous
    • $300 
    • 25 d
  • Margot Reisner
    • $500 
    • 25 d
  • Sydney Weisbach
    • $25 
    • 25 d
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Fundraising team (4)

Ujamaa Farmer Collective
Organizer
West Sacramento, CA
IMANI GARDENS x OGMFG
Team member
Rasheed Hislop
Team member
Temu Martin
Team member

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