NEW YORK — The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) is excited to announce it has received a grant of $220,000 from Walmart to support the Black Farmers Equity Initiative. This funding will enable NMSDC to evaluate the program and support a second cohort of Black farmers.
According to a study from McKinsey & Company, just 1.4% of farmers identify as Black or mixed race compared with about 14% a century ago. Furthermore, these farmers represent less than 0.5% of total U.S. farm sales. Perhaps, even more disturbing, Black farmers operate at 70% of US peer-level farm revenue. Thanks to initial support from Cargill, NMSDC designed the Black Farmers Equity Initiative to address this issue and advance agricultural supply chain access for Black farmers. Benefits of the program included strategic business support or skills development.
“We are extremely grateful to Walmart, for their support of the Black Farmers Equity Initiative,” said NMSDC Senior Director Strategic Alliances and Programs Jetheda Hernandez. “With its support we look forward to building on the success of the program’s first cohort and creating greater equity in the agricultural industry,” she added.
“A focus of the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity is Black entrepreneurship, and creating pathways for Black farmers to achieve parity in the agriculture industry remains a critical need,” said Monique Carswell, director, Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity. “Increasing opportunities for growth and scale often begins with certification and learning solutions, and we are pleased to support this initiative.”
The first cohort of the Black Farmers Equity Initiative, which included 10 farmers from across the country, recently graduated from the program and will all be receiving NMSDC certification as part of their participation in the program.
To learn more about the Black Farmers Equity initiative, visit https://nmsdc.org/black-farmers-equity-initiative/. We expect to begin recruiting for the next cohort by summer 2023 and hope with this additional funding to triple the farmers in the cohort.