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The legacy of Black farming in our region and why numbers are dwindling


Black farmers make up only about 1% of the nation's producers, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and their farms are smaller in acreage in comparison to their white counterparts. Historic discrimination in lending practices has led to financial losses and land losses for many Black farmers, and those hardships have had generational effects as now the numbers of Black farmers are dwindling.

But Black-owned farms are carrying on a tradition of feeding the community as an act of correcting injustices and passing land on to the next generation.

Organizations have sprung up around the country to support Black farmers, including the Black Indigenous People of Color Food and Farming Network in Ohio and the Kentucky Black Farmers Association.

Now the USDA is trying to repair relationships by making new financial assistance available to marginalized communities.

On Cincinnati Edition, we meet Black farmers in the region, discuss how discriminatory lending practices led to financial struggles and what supports are available.


  • Tiffany Bellfield El-Amin, director, Kentucky Black Farmers Association, owner, Ballew Estates
  • Domonique Peebles, founder, Brick Gardens
  • April Simpson, senior reporter, The Center for Public Integrity
  • Amy Mayer, freelance journalist based in California

For more information check out Amy Mayer’s reporting in collaboration with the Food and Environment Reporting Network: Can $3 billion persuade Black farmers to trust the Department of Agriculture?

And April Simpson’s reporting: Black farmers and ranchers, it’s a dying deal

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