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In 1920,
there were nearly 950,000
African American farmers in the U.S.

In 1920,
there were nearly 950,000
African American farmers in the U.S.

Source: USDA Census of Agriculture Historical Archive

Today there are only
45,500 Black Farmers, a little
more than 1%
of the total number.

Today there are
only 45,500 Black Farmers, a little more than
1% of the total number of farmers.

Source: 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture,
Highlights: Farm Producers, Revised April 2019

In 1910,
Black farmers owned
16-19 million acres.

In 1910,
Black farmers owned
16-19 million acres.

Source: Who Owns the Land?
Agricultural Land Ownership by Race/Ethnicity

Today, some 68,000 Black farmers own 7.8 million acres, less than 1% of the country's total farm acreage.

Today, some 68,000 Black farmers
own 7.8 million acres, less than 1%
of the country's total farm acreage.

Source: Who Owns the Land?
Agricultural Land Ownership by Race/Ethnicity

Yet those 7.8 million acres owned by Black farmers
are worth $14.4 billion.

Yet those 7.8 million acres owned by Black farmers
are worth $14.4 billion.

Source: Who Owns the Land?
Agricultural Land Ownership by Race/Ethnicity

N4J's initiative with Black farmers aims to build on this wealth, address climate change, and create a more secure future for them.

N4J's initiative with African American farmers
aims to build on this wealth, address climate change,
and create a more secure future for them.

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Assisting African American Farmers
Adapt to Climate Change

with the support of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
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The Situation

African American farmers have been subjected to centuries of prejudice and systemic racism, resulting in economic disadvantages which are being exacerbated by the growing climate crisis1:

This bleak economic picture and the relative vulnerability that African American farmers have to the climate crisis are demonstrated by two associated indicators:

Given the increasing intensity and variability of rainstorms and resultant vulnerability of farmers to climate impacts without the protection of insurance, African American farmers are at significant risk. Compounding this risk is the over reliance on row crops (about 30% of African American farms) which, without irrigation, are more susceptible to climate fluctuations than other crops.

1Social justice in climate services: Engaging African American farmers in the American South (Link)

The Initiative

The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust has awarded a grant to Nature For Justice for Phase 1 of this long term effort. In the first year we envision a 12-month process for developing and executing the initial phase of our work to support existing African American farmer networks in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida as they build capacity to manage impacts from climate change, as well as other challenges to more resilient farms and communities.

More specifically, we believe the first six months of 2021 are critical to the success of the effort. Our early objectives include the following:

Click to read Kevin Bryan’s post,

The Future

As a result of these early efforts, we expect to lay the groundwork for collaboration between existing farmer networks and institutional and technical partners to co-create and co-implement strategies and actions that increase the resilience of African American farmers to the emerging issues they face due to climate impacts.

The goal for Nature for Justice is to connect and build upon these existing networks, resources, and capabilities to increase the capacity of African American farmers to build thriving operations and communities, expanding opportunity and achieving a higher quality of life.

Nature for Justice will be a valued partner to communities and networks in pursuit of these goals.

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