Farmer next to a tractor watching the sunset.
Opportunities to cultivate a better future. Photo: Pixabay.

NMSDC unveils the first cohort of its Black Farmer Equity Initiative

Eleven people were selected to take part in the program.


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The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and Cargill recently announced the first recipients of its Black Farmer Equity Initiative, which seeks to establish a space for emerging Black farmers to achieve parity in the agricultural industry with solutions for apprenticeships, certification, loans, networks, and new contracts.

Jetheda Hernández, senior director, strategic alliances and programming at NMSDC, noted:

Increasing the numbers of Black farmers in the U.S. agricultural industry is an essential part of achieving NMSDC’s mission of eliminating the racial wealth gap within the next 50 years.


Founded in 1972, the organization is the longest-running engine of business growth for the broadest group of systematically excluded communities of color (Asian Indian, Asian Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and Native American).

“Our impact goes far beyond the supply chain. It’s about upward mobility for the emerging majority of Americans, an equal shot at participating in the American experiment of free-market capitalism and entrepreneurship. Our work is about correcting the unequal access to wealth-building opportunities,” writes NMSDC.


Members of the first cohort of the Black Farmers Equity Initiative, who will receive strategic business support, will complete an eight-week apprenticeship curriculum focused on increasing their ability to take on major national contracts with NMSDC's corporate members.

The 11 members of the 1st cohort are:

  1. Richard Francis aka Farmer Chippy – Owner of Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm. Its main crops are pepper and herbs, and it is located on five acres of land in Maryland.
  2. Antron Williams – Owner of Mahogany Farms LLC. Its main crops are corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat and it is located on 550 acres of land in South Carolina.
  3. Sidney and Shane Lovelace – The Lovelaces (father and son) own Lovelace Farms. Its main commodities are cows and hay, and it is located on 150 acres of land in Kentucky.
  4. D. Spencer Riley – Owner of Orgaceutical. Its main crops are leafy vegetables and microgreens, and it is located on five acres of land in Pennsylvania.
  5. Michael Rollen – Owner of Ophelia's Blue Vine Farm. Its main crops are herbs and spices and it is located on one acre of land in Missouri.
  6. Kimberly Ratcliff – Owner of Caney Creek Ranch and Farm to Freezer Meat Company. Its main commodities are Charbray cattle and feed resources, and it is located on 2500 acres of land in Texas.
  7. Cherie Jzar – Owner of Deep Roots. Its main crops and commodoties are vegetables, flowers, fruits, berries, herbs, apiaries, and animals and it is located on seven acres of land in North Carolina.
  8. Harold Singletary – Owner of BrightMa Farms. Its main crop is hemp, and it is located on 96 acres of land in South Carolina.
  9. Immanuel Jarvis – Owner of Jireh Family Farm. Its main commodities are permaculture pigs, rabbits, goats, and meat chickens and it is located on four acres of land in North Carolina.
  10. Dr. Michael Lloyd – Owner of Num Num Sauce Farms. Its main crop is tomatoes, and it is located on two acres of land in Georgia.
  11. James E Davis, Jr. – Owner of Bales and Bushels. Its main crop is cotton, and it is located on 12 acres of land in Louisiana.

“We are excited to work with these incredible farmers as they grow their businesses, build generational wealth, and provide much needed resilience to our nation’s agricultural supply chain,” added Hernández.


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