Interview: How one entrepreneur is using hemp to restore Black farm ownership

Photo courtesy 40 Acre Co-op

As Black farm ownership hits historic lows, Minnesota entrepreneur Angela Dawson thinks hemp could be part of the solution.

And she’s looking to an old-fashioned model – cooperative farming – to do it.

Dawson left a career in food writing and marketing to start 40 Acre Co-op, a network of Black and socially disadvantaged farmers who share resources and profits.

Farming co-ops were once common across the U.S. as farmers pooled resources to acquire land and equipment. In the Black community, co-ops were a way out of sharecropping and tenant-farming agreements that left them mired in poverty.

But throughout the 20th century, racist policies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture shut out minority-run cooperatives from accessing government assistance.

Recent changes to USDA policies aim to address historic disadvantages for farmers left behind, but farmers of color haven’t caught up. Black farmers now make up less of the population than ever before in American history.

Hemp Industry Daily caught up with Dawson to find out why she thinks hemp could help turn around the decline of Black farming.

 

4 comments on “Interview: How one entrepreneur is using hemp to restore Black farm ownership
    • Larry Williams on

      I would like more info. New to the industry and would like to network with like minded individuals. Harshaw Famrs

      Reply
  1. John Facey on

    I am trying to start a Hemp farm and Campus in Leesville Louisiana. The designated grow area is inside the city limits and now some neighbors residing in the subdivision next door are
    protesting the farm about possible odors. Nothing has been planted as yet as I am waiting on my growers license
    from the Department of agriculture in Louisiana. I think the protest discriminates against me as I am black and all the known protesters are white. Do you have any suggestions or ideas how I can handle this to get it through the next city council meeting? The zoning committee had already
    unanimously approved the track for light commercial. The entire track is about 40 acres and used to be an abandoned trailer park.
    Thanks for any help, suggestions or advice that you can offer.
    John Facey
    214 705 0606
    469 507 1694

    Reply
  2. Larry Williams on

    I would like more info. New to the industry and would like to network with like minded individuals. Harshaw Famrs

    Reply

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