Ep 41 – The (Broken) Promised Land: The Plight of Black American Farmers

This episode, Amber and Erika are joined by Dr. Cindy Ayers Elliott, CEO of Footprint Farms, LLC in Jackson, Mississippi to discuss the substantial, but little known role that Black farmers play in American agribusiness as well as the ways that systemic racism and White Supremacy have undermined Black farmers’ industry prominence and financial gain. Using both a historical context plus her own unique experiences as a Black business owner and woman, Dr. Ayers Elliott offers us a unique insight into Black struggle and excellence in the agricultural industry.

Homework

  1. Check out Foot Print Farms and donate to their cause
    • Foot Print Farms
    • Twitter – @FootPrintFarms
    • Facebook – @footprintfarmsms
    • Instagram – @footprintfarms
  2. Review the receipts from this episode and connect with us on Facebook, IG or Twitter to let us know what you think about the articles. Did you learn anything? Do you have a Black farming story to share?

Receipts

Cindy Ayers-Elliot
Foot Print Farms 
Twitter: @FootPrintFarms
IG: @footprintfarms
Facebook: @footprintfarmsms

Kicked off the Land (The New Yorker)
Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery.The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It (propublica.org)
Author:  Lizzie Presser 
Date:  Jul 15, 2019

Who Owns Almost All America’s Land?
Author:  Antonio Moore (inequality.org)
Date: Feb 15, 2016

USDA issued billions in subsidies this year. Black farmers are still waiting for their share.
Author:  Patrice Gaines
Date:  Oct 28, 2020

Discrimination has become a fact of life for Black farmers—that must end
Author:  Lloyd Wright
Date:  Oct 9, 2020

Cindy Ayers Elliott
Cindy Ayers Elliott is CEO of Foot Print Farms, LLC,(2010), which is a 68 acre specialty crops vegetables and livestock farm, with a focus on agri-tourism for community development in the City of Jackson: growing and array of fruits and vegetables, raising meat goats, chickens, cattle, and horses. She believes that planting seeds in the earth will grow fresh vegetables, however, planting a seed in the minds of young people will create a new universe of scholars.

After working five years as CEO for Delta Foundation, Delta Enterprises in economic development in the Mississippi Delta, she also worked many years in New York as an investment banker. Cindy has traded in her high heels for a pair of work boots. She participates with the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, (NRCS) to ensure her farm is productive and environmentally friendly while she depends on her farms for sustenance, she also wants to use it as an educational tool for people not accustomed to new ways of Farming.

Cindy’s professional affiliations include: President, Mississippi Fruit and Vegetables Growers Association, a founder of the Mississippi Meat Goat Producers Cooperative, recently a featured guest: the Katie Couric show Spot Light Farming and Football, The Wingfield Story, member of the National Women in Agriculture board member, Mississippi Women in Agriculture, Hinds County Board of Commissioners, Soil and Water Conservation District (USDA/NRCS), Women for Progress Member, former President National Alliance for Improvement in Higher Education.

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