Farmers of color are living a legacy of historical discrimination in agriculture; farmer justice offers solutions.
California is the nation’s leading agricultural state. However, the industry is characterized by socioeconomic and racial inequality. Over 60% of the state’s total farm revenue is generated by only 2% of farms, and the majority of farm acres are owned by white farmers, yet many are worked by Latinx farmworkers and other people of color.
Farmers of color make up approximately 21% of farmers in California. Farmers of color receive less government resources such as grant funding and technical assistance than their white counterparts. To share our collective bounty, we must sustain our agricultural economy by providing a fair chance in this field for all Californians.
As stewards of the land, farmers play a critical role as defenders against climate change. All farmers, and especially farmers of color who have less access to land and capital, need the tools and resources to continue building operations for sustainability, resilience, and sovereignty. Together, we’re moving forward in healing the wrongs of systemic racial inequities, and meaningfully engaging in the socioeconomic and political growth of farmers of color.
What we’re doing
We’re working to dismantle racism and injustice in the California food and farm system while advancing social & economic justice for under-served farmers and ranchers of color in California. We’re widening a platform for the empowerment of farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers of color in California.
- California Farmer Equity Act of 2017 (FEA) – PASSED!: FEA is a law that opens a platform for reform surrounding farmer equity. This legislation holds the CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) accountable for serving the needs of farmers and ranchers of color by encouraging the creation of more inclusive outreach strategies, coordinating farmer equity efforts across local, state, and federal levels, and hiring a Farm Equity Officer position to support this work. Further this legislation makes access to grants, resources, and decision-making more accessible to under-served farmers and ranchers of color.
- We’re supporting the growth of the California Farmer Justice Collaborative (CFJC), a network that invites farmers and ranchers of color to directly participate and effectively lead in building a fair food and farming system in CA. PAN is a member of the collaborative, and we provide support in bringing farmers and ranchers of color and allies together in community, policy, coordination, logistical efforts, and events.
- Reframing the narrative: We’re working to uplift stories of who’s growing food and stewarding land in California, ensuring that farmers of color are recognized as a fundamental part of agriculture, and have distinct needs, perspectives, and contributions.
Are you a farmer or rancher of color who is interested in talking about farmer equity, or do you know one who may be?
- Contact PAN to share your farmer story. Your personal successes and challenges can provide input for the future of food and farming policy.
- Sustain the conversation. Connect to CFJC to continue building and growing with us.