Kentucky Black Farmer Fund

HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED

COVID-19 created opportunities and challenges for all small family-scale farmers. For Black farmers, these new demands were piled onto existing challenges, because of these systemic historical inequities. Community Farm Alliance (CFA) partnered with Black Soil: Our Better Nature to create the Kentucky Black Farmer Fund to shift critical funding into the hands of Black farmers. CFA received funding from Farm Aid which was allocated completely to the Kentucky Black Farmer Fund.

Historically, Black farmers have been systematically discriminated against in the United States. The same opportunities granted to white farmers have been denied to Black farmers; Black farmers have been less likely to receive loans and federal and state grants. Black Farms average 31% less in their average market value of products sold. Their products are valued at a little over $10 million compared to their white counterparts’ product valuation at over $5 billion. Black farmers have had their land stolen through heirs property disputes. Collectively, the Black community is losing more than 30,000 acres a year of family land. As of 2017, there were less than 450 Black farmers, and only 0.5% of the nearly 76,000 farms in Kentucky are operated by a Black farmer.

To learn more about Black Farmers & Kentucky please click here.

HOW IT WENT

Farm Aid offered funds for Covid relief. CFA added funds as well as a fundraising campaign, funds from Just Transition, Foundation for Appalachian KY, Gates Foundation and Luther Mason memorial. $75,899.75 total

1st Round: 43 farms totaling $31,900

2nd Round: 9 farms totaling $6,750

Total 52 farms in 26 counties across the state

Demographics of Farmer Applicants

Farmer Quotes:

“Thank y’all so much, the check came yesterday and it was right on time. I usually pay 20 to 30 dollars for 1 roll of hay, I don’t know why because it’s not a drought an grass is plentiful, but farmers that are selling hay have double the prices even tripled on some, I buy a 150 rolls every year an I was worried a little but every little bit help an I bought 80 rolls yesterday and feel like I will get through this pandemic, thank y’all again God Bless y’all an stay safe.”

“Thank you for your kind and warm response as well as the financial support.
 I too look forward to our continuing efforts at small-scale production and community involvement.I look forward to meeting you sometime soon and continuing our collaborative efforts.”

Funding Impact Stories:

This is a statement that encapsulates several applicants circumstances: “Covid 19 effected the my community by having empty shelves of the nearest grocery store. We are already in a food insecure community and the strain on the supply chain, put an even deeper strain on this food insecure community. Production needed to be increased to help my community that was in need.”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

CFA and Black Soil are planning with partners to relaunch the Kentucky Black Farmer Fund in 2023. A fundraising campaign will start in June and applications to the fund will open in the fall.

Eligibility and Application Info

This fund will provide grants to Black farmers in Kentucky. Those eligible to apply must satisfy all of the following:

  • Black-operated, family farms in Kentucky with fewer than ten employees;
  • Farms who are actively part of the local food system, including produce, livestock, edible herbs, honey, maple syrup;
  • Currently farming; and
  • Selling products through local markets (i.e. farmers market, roadside market, Community Supported Agriculture, farm share, local restaurants, etc.)

If you would like to donate to assist with this fund, please click here:

Please contact CFA staff members Tiffany Bellfield El-Amin at tiffany@cfaky.org and Laurie White at laurie@cfaky.org for assistance.