Farmer to Farmer


SATURDAY (11/5)  1:30-2:45 PM

Gaining Ground-Writing More Competitive Grant Applications

One of the most consistent barriers to new and beginning farmers and the organizations that serve them is access to appropriate financial resources. The majority of funding to train new and beginning farmers, to do farm related research and to implement local food system projects is through a myriad of grants programs, mostly administered through the USDA. Accessing these resources is often problematic for people of color because they often don’t have the experience to successfully write winning proposals, even know these programs exist or can afford to pay grant writer. In this workshop, Brennan Washington will cover how to write more competitive grant applications. Mr. Washington has served as a grant reviewer for several USDA programs and has successfully written grants to secure funding for worthy projects such as the startup of the Georgia Farmers Market Association. Over the past 5 years, Mr. Washington has reviewed over $50 million in grant applications and will provide some keen insights on how to write more competitive proposals that have an increased chance of receiving funding. By attending this workshop, you will walk away with the knowledge to assess grant funding opportunities and effectively apply for them.


  • Brennan Washington, Phoenix Gardens, Southern SARE

Convening for QTIBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Intersex, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Farmers, Foodies, and Food Justice Activists

As QTIBIPOC food workers and land workers, we often finding ourselves in primarily cisgender-heteronormative spaces, our lives and work is often invisibilized within our families of origins and in communities of color. Seeing the need to come together and hold space, we launched this space at the Just Food Conference and were blown away and inspired by the dialogues and community building that took place. Different from a workshop or panel, this space is an opportunity to be visible with, connect to one another, and to share our stories/ experiences of resilience. We will emphasize collective learning and healing, for example, this gathering will be interactive, including small group discussions and sharing with each other about how we build resiliency. Indeed, being our full selves builds resiliency and expands our ability to create. Some of the support and information we hope participants will walk away with: --reduce isolation & build community --share resources with other QTIBIPOC farmers and food justice activist --addressing gender & sexuality in our families & communities --coming out as farmers to our families --listserv to stay connected post conference.


  • Lucretia John, Cypress Hills Local Development Corp; KCC Urban Farm
  • Cris Izaguirre, Kingsborough Community College Urban Farm
  • Dean Jackson, Hilltop Urban Gardens

Afroecology as a Social Methodology

Afroecology is a form of art, movement, practice and process of social and ecological transformation. It involves the re-evaluation of our sacred relationships with land, water, air, seeds and food, through the recognition of ancestral and communal forms of knowledge throughout the African Diaspora. Afroecology uses farmer-to-farmer education to instigate and nurture a political process of collective action and participatory research. In this workshop we will use Afroecology to explore theoretical and practical tools for reframing the narrative around agriculture and land as it relates to black land and liberation for social transformation. Participants will also engage in the art of seedkeeping as a core component of Afroecology that incorporates the cultural practice and process of keeping seeds and the stories that come with them. Ultimately, we will engage in a dialogue of knowledges or “dialogo de saberes” to develop agroecological militant educators armed with an increased understanding of how our cultural and technical capacities can be employed to transform our lived realities. This workshop will be facilitated by members of the Black Dirt Farm Collective (BDFC), a thought collective of farmers, scientists, agrarians, seedkeepers, organizers, and researchers, using the pedagogical principles of black agrarianism as a socially transformative organizing tool.


  • Kirtrina Baxter, Black Dirt Collective
  • Xavier Brown, Black Dirt Collective
  • Joelle Robinson, Black Dirt Collective
  • Shakara Tyler, Black Dirt Collective

Note to Participants:  

  • Please bring seeds to the workshop if possible.

From Protest to Power: Overcoming Discriminatory Barriers to true wealth and health in the Post Civil Rights Era

The Black Farmer’s & Agriculturalist Association (BFAA) would like to propose a Farmer-to-Farmer track panel discussion covering the significance of farmer networking collaborative and how BFAA emerged within that construct, a contextualized history of the black farmer movement and efforts towards land loss prevention, the new effort towards settling outstanding discrimination claims through the Administrative Law Judge process, and a broad discussion of the increased need for and various methodologies to connect growers both rural and urban to each other in an effort to secure safe and healthy community food supplies. The panel will consist of four individuals with diverse experience and skill sets. Gary R. Grant is BFAA president, a farmer owner, social and political activist and black farmer movement organizer; Dr. Spencer Wood, PhD is a current professor of sociology at the University of Kansas and is a food security advocate and social movement activist; Corey Lea is a Black Farmer and current law student who experienced discrimination at USDA and is leading an effort to provide administrative law assistance to black farmers with outstanding claims agains the USDA; Michael Stewart, Jr. is a current PhD candidate and Black Farmer Movement Researcher who has outlined the history of the Black farmer movement and is identifying elements of successful land loss prevention strategies. It is our hope that participants will be able to understand the challenges facing blacks in agriculture and how best to circumnavigate the barriers they face, to be more aware of the resources available and the opportunities for partnership among farmers of varying size demography.


  • Gary Grant, The Black Farmer’s & Agriculturalist Association

SATURDAY (11/5)  3:00-4:15 PM

 National Black Food & Justice Alliance Caucus and Info Session

This caucus space will provide an introduction to the work of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, its focus, strategies, and individual/organizational membership. The caucus space will also serve as a political education space for black people within the food movement who are interested in engaging in autonomous black spaces and working on strategies that center resisting anti blackness within the food system and food movement. National Black Food and Justice Alliance is a coalition of Black-led organizations and individuals working towards cultivating and advancing Black leadership, building Black self-determination, Black institution building and organizing for food sovereignty, land and justice. The Alliance seeks to achieve this by engaging in broad based coalition organizing for black food and land, increasing visibility of Black led narratives and work, advancing Black led visions for just and sustainable communities, and building capacity for self-determination within our local, national, and international food systems and land rights work. Our areas of focus include black food sovereignty, self-determining food economies, and land. We approach food sovereignty, land and self-determining food economies via the lens of healing, organizing and resistance against anti-Blackness. *This session s is open to conference attendees who are of African decent or who identify as racially Black.


  • National Black Food & Justice Alliance

SUNDAY (11/6)  9:30-10:45 AM

Developing Socially Transformative Garden Education for Youth of African Descent

Socially transformative education seeks to revise or reform the existing social order, it pulls heavily from the works of Paulo Freire. It is a revolutionary approach to education. The Urban Garden is a unique space where transformative education can take place if we are intentional about structuring the garden experience. This interactive workshop will: Discuss the research on how children of African descent learn/Overview of scholarly recommendations Share some successful lesson plans that syncretisize garden tasks with history and or food justice issues. Share, as a group, educational strategies/lesson plans in your garden/farm setting that were effective in creating awareness within the student of the oppressive social conditions people of African descent exist in. What practical solutions, if at all, were derived from this awareness. [sharing best practices] Review of the mechanics of writing a lesson plan As a group develop garden/farm based lesson plans around current social issues Share resources.


  • Ruby Olisemeka, Harlem Grown

Freedom Food Alliance - Black Farmers Organizing for Our Liberation Upstate New York

Black farmers are organizing ourselves to feed the community, reclaim our rightful place on land, and end the racist criminal punishment system. In this roundtable, we will share the stories of Soul Fire Farm, Freedom Food Alliance, and Wildseed and open up a conversation to take this work to the next level. Since 2011, we have worked together to create a farm share program that provides weekly food deliveries to families and feeds incarcerated people and their loved ones. We support hundreds of youth in connecting to the land and getting themselves and free from state violence on their bodies. We train Black and Latinx farmers, lead undoing racism work in the "food movement" and work to heal land-based trauma. We have a bus that provides transportation for people to visit their incarcerated loved ones in prison. As this is powerful and we need to continue to advance the work, improve ourselves, deepen our collaboration to make the change necessary. Let's talk about how we will build together.


  • Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm
  • Jalal Sabur, Wildseed, Freedom Food Alliance

Gaining Power and a Seat at the Table through Policy/Agribusiness

Michelle will dissect elements of our food supply chain and how we can gain power and access within that system as minority farmers. Showcasing successful models, such as Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s farm to business delivery system, Market Mobile, we will explore how to work with different distribution models, accessing infrastructure through wholesale and distribution channels. Working smarter through technology, how do we market and brand and ourselves to gain access to niche customers and have more of a voice in regards to food sourcing? How do we partner with like-minded people in the food system like food incubators? How can we add resiliency to your crop by producing more Value added products and allow B-Grade Produce to work in your favor to reduce waste and bring you profits? Michelle will discuss all of this and more in this agribusiness and marketing session. After viewing state wide food plans and policies being drafted and yet again minorities not being represented at the table, whether through access programs being put into place for “Low income” African American and Latinos or community gardens propping up in those very same communities without any notice or input from minority residents, Georgina strived to focus her work on how to engage our communities through the notion that policy and investment equals power. As Access Chair of the RI Food Policy Council and sitting at the table to observe, Sarpong will showcase ways to add your voice to the local food access conversation, provide actions steps and innovative success models from her years of access work in the local food community."


  • Michelle Cruz, Farm Fresh RI and co-founder of Urban FACTs (Food Agriculture Collaborative Talk Sessions)
  • Georgina Sarong, Farm Fresh RI and co-founder of Urban FACTs (Food Agriculture Collaborative Talk Sessions)

Data Matters: Measuring the Good Things in your Garden or Farm

Join us for an interactive workshop on goal-setting and record-keeping with Farming Concrete. Hear from gardeners and farmers about their experiences and lessons learned with data collection and sample a workshop you can bring back to facilitate with your own garden or farm. By the end of this workshop, participants will have: planned to set clear objectives for the season with their fellow gardeners; selected methods for measuring their progress toward achieving their goals; and practiced using the Farming Concrete website.


  • Sheryll Durrant, Farming Concrete
  • Rosalba Lopez, Ramirez Farming Concrete

Building Self-Reliant Communities through Permaculture

This workshop will expand our knowledge of Permaculture and how we approach the transformation of public and “private” spaces, taking us through some of the best examples from the field of building gardens and large scale sites in urban and rural settings. Chief Coker brilliantly explains the trap of urban development and manages time and time again to snap us out of a sleepwalk with the most clear and real depictions of the realities we have encountered in our collective work. From where Chief Coker and its leaders stand in the movement, they will tie into the conversation of how we have a long way to go and how we recognize that many of us are still approaching our work with a large level of ignorance that play into schemes of oppression, specifically gentrification all in the name of the movements. Chief's magnificent storytelling captivates us and helps us overstand the importance of productive partnerships as the first and most important action to working in our neighbourhoods no matter what part of the movement we subscribe to. We will all want to identify as a Permie once they are done.


  • Chief Toyin Coker, Permaculture GTA BCC Yes

Healing Through Fruit Tree Maintenance And Other Therapeutic Garden Components

In this round table, we will explore ways we heal and nurture ourselves through the maintenance of fruit trees and other green space components. We will demonstrate and discuss how and why to prune, weed, and mulch; how to stake the main trunk and branches; and to protect against bugs, wildlife, and other animals; and what disease(s) and pests to look out for. We will incite thought that will allow us to engage in a discussion on the need for us to come together in outdoor healing spaces.


  • RonDell Pooler, Rooted and Sustained LLC
  • Gerald Mcintosh, Seed Planters

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