The Woman Who's Inspiring a New Generation of Black Farmers
Through her work with her D.C.-based nonprofit, Healthy Solutions, Cunningham knew how hard it was for any small farmer to eke out a living. So she launched the Save Black Farmers Project to help African-American growers who weren't Internet savvy find the resources they need to weather hard times. Soon farmers were calling about everything from how to cut through governmental red tape to where to purchase new seeds. The project now assists more than 600 black farmers in seven states.
But Cunningham also wants to inspire young people. Last year she launched the inaugural Black Agriculture Awareness Week to celebrate African-Americans' rich farming tradition. She's also encouraging buyers like Walmart to purchase from black growers. "Many say, 'We never knew this was an issue,'" notes Cunningham. "And I say, 'We haven't done enough!' My staff is like, Calm down. There's always next year."
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