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Roots of the Soil: Land Succession Issues among African American Farm Families

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Date July 08, 2020
Time 3 pm CST
Location Virtual 2-3 CST
Registration Required Yes
Fee Description Registration deadline is Monday, July 6


This webinar will focus on the unique challenges faced by African American farm families regarding the transfer of land from generation to generation.* Program speakers will discuss the importance of and the power inherent in land ownership by African American farmers.  They will provide historical perspectives highlighting the growth of African American farm ownership from Emancipation until the 1920s, as well as the subsequent land loss since that time and the reasons for the decline.

The presenters will provide personal perspectives concerning steps that landowner heirs can take to maintain property in their family, the importance of keeping land versus the short-term financial gains from selling, and how to make the land work for the family.

Topics include:

  • Historical review of African American farm ownership
  • Challenges faced by African American farm families in retaining land for future generations
  • Personal perspectives from a multi-generation farm family
  • Threats to African American farmland ownership
  • Importance of keeping land over money
  • Strategies and steps for landowners to protect their legacy

Our presenters:.

John Jamerson is founder and project manager of Legacy Taste of the Garden LLC and Legacy Farming and Health Group. Legacy’s aim is to close the gap between local producers and the local community to help support the community’s economic vitality. They seek to help empower individuals and communities to become self-sustaining and economically sound through education, networking, and resources to promote a healthy, sustainable, empowered life.

Denise Jamerson is a 5th generation farmer who was born and raised in Lyles Station, IN, an African American farming community in southern Indiana. She is operations director for Legacy Taste of the Garden LLC and is co-founder of Lyles Station Historic Preservation Corp and Lyles Consolidated School Museum. Greer Farms is operated by her father Norman Greer, who is recognized by the National Museum of African American History and Culture as the last known African American farmer farming land that has been in his family since before the civil war.

Frank Taylor is a native of Winston County Mississippi and president of Winston County Self-Help Cooperative, Inc. This group of minority farmers and landowners works diligently to combat past problems and social ills of land loss, insufficient farm income, and lack of access to marketing opportunities. His lifework embodies the theme "Saving Rural America.” He works to connect individuals with their natural resources and foster healthy and sustainable communities through partnering and generating hope for the next generation of landowners and farmers. Taylor is a tree farmer in the unincorporated town of Greensboro, MS.

A question & answer period will follow the presentation.


To participate in this free webinar, click here to access the online registration form by Monday, July 6. Instructions for accessing the session will be sent to registrants by Tuesday, July 7. Please pass on this invitation to others you believe may be interested. Contact AgrAbility at 800-825-4264 or email agrability@agrability.org if you have questions.


*This is the first webinar in a series designed to explore farm succession planning with a special emphasis on the needs of socially disadvantaged farm families.  Future programs will explore USDA, Extension, and other resources that farm families can use to help develop a plan for successfully passing their farm business to future generations.

This webinar is sponsored by the Legacy Innovation Farming Economics (LIFE) Project, a partnership of Peoples Foundation, Legacy Farming and Health Group, and the National AgrAbility Project.  The LIFE Project is sponsored by the USDA Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program.  The Purdue Institute for Family Business is partnering with the LIFE project on this educational project.