Growing Roots: Investing in Black Farm Ownership

A session by Sawdayah Brownlee, Randy Cameron Jr., Ena McPherson, Alexis Mena and Karen Washington
Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, Brooklyn Sprout Social Enterprise/ Skyponic Farming, Tranquility Farm, East New York Farms and HEAL Food Alliance, US Food Sovereignty Alliance, Black Urban Growers etc.

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About this session

African-American farmers make up less than 2 percent of all farmers in the United States and it is reported that racial discrimination within USDA programs is responsible for this decline. The promise of 40 acres and a mule never materialized. Now we are faced with food shortages due to the economic downturn related to COVID-19, which makes growing food and having access to healthy food a matter of survival. The goal of many black and brown communities is to be a catalyze for food entrepreneurship and to build self-sustaining infrastructures that are community-owned.

The goal of this panel of farmers, operators and policy experts is to explore and uplift strategies that will lead to the acquisition of land for BIPOC communities.

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Randy Cameron Jr.

Randy Cameron Jr. began to establish himself as one of the leaders in the emerging New York City hydroponic farming industry in 2006, with the formation of Skyponic Farming.   It's mission, to introduce aquaponics (symbiotic fish and plant production), hydroponics (water-based plant production), and green-roof scaping to both the education system and food production distribution industry in New York City.