White landowners possess 98% of all farmland, and 95% of farmers are White, according to a report from the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). Today, there are fewer than 50,000 Black farmers in America, far less than the nearly 1 million who farmed back in 1920.
Boulder-based Evo Hemp is hoping to change that by leveling the farming fields. The hemp nutrition company recently partnered with 40-Acre Cooperative to support historically disadvantaged hemp farmers. Together, they hope to make USA grown hemp food and CBD products more affordable and accessible for everyone.
“I really want to first and foremost just kind of spread that education and awareness not only of the benefits of industrial hemp farming, but just of the awareness of the marginalized farmers in this country. We find a lot of passion in highlighting these stories that need to be told and they're not necessarily being told today about Black and Indigenous farmers and the trials and tribulations that go along with it,” said Ari Sherman, Co-Founder of Evo Hemp.
“Some of these conversations are hard to have. I'm not a Black man and I do not speak for them, but I can help provide a platform to give people voices so that their stories can be heard and I can try to connect other people that feel strongly and passionately about these topics. So, I think that's what I'm most excited about, is providing this platform so that these stories can be told. And more people can say, ‘Hey, you know, they look just like me’ or ‘I've always thought about getting into the farming industry, but because of the stigma around it or the hurdles that are there, I did not want to get into it’ and the true facts are today the average age of a farmer–Black or White–is around 60 years old. Young people don't really find it cool or they don't see that they can make a lot of money taking over their family farm and here at Evo Hemp we’ve always wanted to try to turn that around and reverse that number,” he added.
40-Acre Cooperative is an agricultural company focused on addressing equity gaps within agriculture. The co-op provides technical assistance, and marketing support that supports Black, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities.
To hear more about 40-Acre and Evo Hemp, listen to the NutraCast.