The West MI Farmers of Color land fund consists of farmers, farmhands, and growers in the Grand Rapids area who came together with the common goal of supporting people of color who want to grow food in West Michigan. These funds will go towards securing land and infrastructure for people of color who want to farm in West Michigan. This is a small step towards repairing the long overdue injustices to communities of color, which have led to the loss of generational wealth and land. Long term, we aim to rescue some of the remaining green lots in Grand Rapids to provide accessible growing spaces for aspiring farmers. Secure land provides a foundation for community empowerment and resiliency, especially when it is used to grow food.
This group came together as a chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition , an organization that advocates for a more equitable and sustainable future for farming.
Land access is the number one barrier for beginning farmers. This barrier is even higher for Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other farmers of color, who have experienced systemic land loss due to discriminatory and predatory lending practices by the USDA and banks. Land across the US was stewarded and farmed sustainably by Indigenous peoples long before it was pillaged by colonizers to become our current agricultural system. Today, sustainable agricultural trends such as permaculture have rebranded these ideas from traditional practices of Indigenous peoples without crediting them. It is crucial that we redistribute power among these groups through secure land; over 40% of farmland is leased, which makes it difficult for farmers to invest in infrastructure and find stability. Join us in supporting future farmers of West Michigan!
This project is inspired by the innovative work of the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund and Washtenaw County Black Farmer Land Fund, which raised money to support land access for Black farmers in their communities.
The National Young Farmers Coalition is our fiscal sponsor for this fundraiser, so all donations are tax deductible.
We use the terms BIPOC and people of color to encompass Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander peoples.
Logo by Elbert Foster