Celebrating 30 years of Farm Aid giving

Soul Fire Farm Institute

CA

Petersburg, NY

Soul Fire Farm is a 72-acre farm that grows food for 80 families in Albany and Troy, NY, raising vegetables on two acres and meat and eggs on one acre. In addition to being a working farm, the organization is committed to ending racism and injustice throughout the food system through training programs and workshops

Soul Fire Farm has a goal of increasing the leadership of people of color in the food justice movement, and reversing the trend of declining numbers of black and Latino/a landowners. One way that they do this is through their Black Latinx Farmer Immersion program, which trains people to become farmers and organizers in their communities. Following this program, the advanced “Train the Trainer” series includes targeted skill development and mentorship. These programs, along with the organization’s other workshops, have trained 291 farmers since 2011. Farm Aid was honored to be able to support these programs through a Helping Farmers Thrive grant in 2016.

Keisha Cameron is an alumna of Soul Fire Farm’s program. She admits, “I was about to quit farming and [now] I feel renewed. I got to experience for the first time something I have done 100 times.” Keisha farms at High Hog Farm in Grayson, GA, and recently joined Soul Fire Farm’s advanced trainer cohort. The experience was so reinvigorating and affirming that she wanted to bring the training to more people. Now, Keisha uses her own farm as a training base and supports other black farmers in Georgia, helping them transition to sustainable and organic practices. Her program, called Ubuntu (which refers to an African philosophy that recognizes the humanity of a person through their relationship with others), started in the fall of 2017. Soul Fire Farm continues to provide Keisha support through curriculum support and mentorship.

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