REV On Air: Regenerative Farming & Social Justice with Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm
Today we are incredibly honoured to get to speak to Leah Penniman, co-director and Manager of Soul Fire Farm, a regenerative farm in upstate New York working on food and social justice through sustainable farming practices, and author of Farming While Black, a comprehensive manual for African-heritage people ready to reclaim their rightful place of dignified agency in the food system. As Penman writes there: “Stewarding our own land, growing our own food, educating our own youth, participating in our own healthcare and justice systems. This is the source of real power and dignity.”
We are now at a point in American where on 1.5% of the nation’s farms are black owned, down from roughly 14% in the 1920s, and with a loss of 14 million acres of farm land being owned by people of colour. 95% of farms and land management are run by white people, despite the fact that the vast majority of farm workers are people of colour – and this is just horrifying when we think of the history of farming in this country and how this has come to be. Black farmers on average make $40,000 annually, whilst white farmers make more than $190,000.
Today’s conversation is important for everyone to listen to – we simply cannot solve our climate crisis, social justice issues, and environmental inequalities without voices like Leah’s helping to guide us. Her wisdom, thoughtfulness and passion is infectious and we really hope you all take away as much from this conversation as we did. Now over to Leah and her story of regenerative farming and dedication to social justice through the land.