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Farm-to-Fork hopes to spur new generation of African-American farmers

SACRAMENTO, CA – Carson Creek Ranch proposed the development of a food and agricultural center in Sacramento, which was recently approved by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

Carson Creek Ranch wants to address the low participation rates and opportunities presented to African-American Farmers in California. The United States Department of Agriculture 2012 census reported that out of the 126 thousand farmers in California only 526 were of African-American descent.

Michael Harris, Co-Chair of California Agriculture Working Group, along with other collaborators met late February for the first Farm to Fork Friday meeting in Sacramento to discuss the project. The Food and Agriculture center will repurpose 140 acres of the closed Sacramento County Boys Ranch located near Rancho Murrieta. The approved project of the food and agriculture center will partner with U.C. Davis, Los Rios College District, and the Sacramento County Office of Education.

According to Harris the focus of the center will be to introduce agricultural education with the Pan-African experience to youth. The Pan-Africa movement seeks to unite and promote the welfare of all people identified with, or claiming membership as African-American or Black. The center will educate youth with the hopes they will one day pursue PhD programs in agriculture.

The project and advocacy work seeks to give options and choices for people of African descent to be in the Agricultural industry. The Farm Bill allocates one trillion dollars to farmers but African Americans are underrepresented and “not in the room” with congress, added Harris.

“The purpose of the Food and Agriculture center is simple. Currently 1/3 of 1 percent of the Agricultural industry is Black Agriculture and the ongoing education and advocacy is making a difference.”

Engineer and San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce’s president Fred Jordan, entrepreneur Jonathan Burgess, Dr. Ernest Uwazie Director for African and Peace Resolution at Sacramento State University, Farm Fresh to You executive Pamela Reagh, and others have partnered to work on the project.

The non-profit will hold an informational hearing on their Food and Agriculture Center project on March 20th at the State Capital. The non-profit will also be presenting at the 2018 Art and Agriculture in Sacramento.

Carson Creek Ranch will hold an information day at the California Spring Celebration, Sunday, March 25 from 1pm to 5pm at the State Capital. The group will also hold its next Farm-to-Fork meeting in Downtown Stockton on Friday, March 23 from 1:30p.m. to 4:30p.m. at the Alliance.

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