Farmer Inclusion Program

“Working with African American farmers in the Southeast U.S. compels us to adjust our conceptual and programmatic focus, from ‘equity’ – ensuring parity in access to information – to ‘social justice’ – considering how information has been or can be used to marginalize or to empower disadvantaged groups.” (Social Justice in Climate Services, Furman, et. al, 2014)

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

There are increasing risks to BIPOC farmers
from climate change, particularly risk of more regular
and intense droughts and floods, which are expected to
increase in intensity by 50% by 2050.

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

Research confirms BIPOC farmers need more inclusive
access to Climate-Smart Agriculture information
and financial resources.

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

Access to inclusive climate resources can best be
accomplished through networks of existing trusted partner organizations.

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

Regional hubs of Inclusive Climate Resource Networks (ICRNet)
provide access to local capacities and targeted resources
for BIPOC farmers within a 3-5 county area.

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

Peer-to-peer networks have demonstrated great success
reaching BIPOC farmers with new information and resources.

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As a global organization, Nature for Justice (N4J) harnesses nature-based solutions to advance social justice for frontline populations confronting the climate crisis. The Farmer Inclusion Program is N4J’s core U.S. initiative and is currently launching in North Carolina. We focus on increasing inclusivity in historically exclusive environments by supporting Black and Indigenous as well as other farm managers and owners of color (BIPOC farmers) to expand their access to existing resources and build their climate resilience.

A pdf of this Farmer Inclusion Program Overview can be found here.

Puede leer la descripción del Programa para la Inclusión de Agricultores aquí.

What We Do

We support BIPOC farmers in increasing their climate resilience, both through mitigation and adaptation, by increasing opportunities for and access to knowledges sharing and community building as well as technical support and financial resources. Specifically, we support:

  • Knowledge sharing. Compensate peer-to-peer networks, local subject-matter experts, and local partners for sharing their time, networks, and expertise with us and others
  • For-us-by-us networks. Support practice-based implementing networks that provide and share advice, technical resources, and financing opportunities for regenerative agriculture and climate resilience
  • Advocacy capacity. Increase BIPOC farmers’ ability to speak collectively or on behalf of other farmers and address discriminatory practices that historically and currently exclude BIPOC farmers from resources
Farmer Inclusion

Black and Indigenous communities have a long history of implementing regenerative agricultural practices but face some of the highest barriers to keeping access to their land much less these practices. Historically, Black farmers held almost 25% of farms in North Carolina; now it’s 3% or less than 1,500 farms. At the same time, with less than 2% of US land farmed as organic and even less with regenerative or restorative practices, industrial agriculture contributes to an overwhelming amount of climate emissions; habitat loss; soil erosion; and water, land, and air pollution—impacting frontline farming communities.

The Farmer Inclusion Program seeks to increase Black and Indigenous farmers’ access to resources and strengthen climate resilience through social justice approaches and a focus on regenerative agriculture.

Our Approach

Practice-Based Networks for Peer-to-Peer Learning and Wrap-Around Technical Assistance. N4J supports networks of BIPOC farmers that want to implement specific regenerative agriculture practices such as cover crops, field borders, no till fields, or prescribed grazing. These practice-based networks will receive:
  • Financial support and subject-matter expert technical support for implementing new approaches on their own farms
  • Compensation for their input and insights as they network and share lessons learned from their farm with other farmers
The North Carolina agricultural justice landscape is diverse and well-established and N4J’s goal is to be additive. When possible, we support existing networks through local partners.

Subject-Matter Experts and Local Partners.
N4J works through subject-matter experts and local partners. We seek mutually beneficial partnerships and support to:

  • Increase BIPOC farmer engagement and representation and recruit new producers, growers, and farmers to networks
  • Facilitate network meetings and support implementing networks with wrap-around technical resources
  • Lead movement-building and joint advocacy highlighting BIPOC famers and their concerns
Let’s Talk About It! Please contact us via this form with questions and comments if you are interested in joining a network or engaging as a subject-matter expert.

The Team

Patrick Brown
Patrick Brown
Jasmine Gibson
Jasmine Gibson
Zoraya Hightower
Zoraya Hightower
Managing Director, USA

This work is made possible through partnerships with the US Department of Agriculture, The Kenan Charitable Trust, The Walmart Foundation, and other donors.


The following Resources section includes a collection of U.S. government publications, news articles, scholarly publications and listing of Black farmers and their market.  We will periodically update this collection. You can also read more about our approach to this important issue on this blog post.