COVID-19 has created opportunities and challenges for all small family-scale farmers. For Black farmers, these new demands are piled onto existing challenges, because of these systemic historical inequities. Community Farm Alliance (CFA) is partnering 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 will be 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 are 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.
Eligibility and Application Info
This fund will provide one-time grants of up to $750 to Black-operated family-scale farmers in Kentucky to assist them in meeting the new demands brought about by COVID-19. 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.)
Recipients are encouraged to partner with a local food pantry, backpack program, or other food security program to which they can provide their seconds and excess products.
To apply, visit the Central Appalachian Family Farm Fund portal here. You will indicate that you are applying for the Kentucky Black Farmer Fund on the application. First round of applications are due Friday, July 10, 2020 at 7PM EDT. Don’t delay in applying!
Please contact CFA staff members Tiffany Bellfield El-Amin at email@example.com and Laurie White at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Contribute to the Fund
Community Farm Alliance has raised $18,800 that is going directly to Kentucky Black Farmers through Farm Aid support and our own organizational contribution. With each grant allocated at $750, the fund as-is will only help 25 farmers. We are still seeking support from our network because we believe this is foundation-building work that will create long-term change. We want your help and we believe Kentuckians can at least raise $10,000 together and help this fund grow. Will you donate today?