National Young Farmers Coalition Land Advocacy Fellows on Land Access for BIPOC and Beginning Agrarians

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) Land Advocacy Fellowship is a two-year advocacy and leadership fellowship for current and aspiring young farmers and ranchers. In this episode, host Taylor Muglia sits down with Benú Amun-Ra, Tanisha Diggs, and Óscar Vital, three Fellows from right here in Colorado. They talk about their land access goals, how it can be even harder for BIPOC to access agricultural land, capital, and resources, and they share their policy suggestions for the 2023 Farm Bill as a part of the One Million Acres for the Future Campaign—an initiative to ensure that land is equitably transitioned to the next generation of farmers.

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Land Advocacy Fellowship
NYFC National Survey Report
One Million Acres for the Future Campaign

Music attribution:
Wanderlust by Scott Buckley


2:06- Benu Amun-Ra introduction. Remembers childhood in South Korea and mother growing and cooking cultural foods.
3:21- Oscar Vital introduction. Remembers driving up Hwy 5 in CA passing through farm fields.
4:48- Tanisha introduction. During childhood, her father decided to grow collard greens and tomatoes in the backyard.
6:28- Tanisha’s background. Veterinary technician for 15 years, but felt a calling to serve more. Poultry was the most interesting to her because she learned the small producers have no fairness in the market. 
7:54- Tanisha’s goals, wants to stay in CO and have a small operation with a processing facility for other producers too.
10:30- Benu’s relationship to land, we heal ourselves when we steward land.
12:32- Benu, what are your goals for being involved in agriculture? Benu explains her family property in Ft. Collins and leaving the land. Immense costs of water, other life costs. Wants to provide a healing center for her non-profit. Being with land, healing land, healing ourselves.
16:15- Oscar tells us about his story and what you’ve learned from your urban agriculture experience. Family were farmers in Mexico, driven from that land, lifestyle, worked as undocumented workers. “Landless farmer” now, volunteered with small scale urban ag operation, managed up to 2 acres. Sharing food and values with others. Joined Mile High Farmers. Learned that farming wasn’t easy- time management, physicality, barriers associated with socioeconomics, race.
22:53- What is the purpose of the Land Advocacy Fellowship and what does it mean to you?
23:05- Tanisha explains fellowship. Gaining access to land has been the biggest struggle for her. Has a business plan, but no generational land. I want to be able to help my neighbors face food insecurity.
25:21- Benu believes this fellowship will help BIPOC farmers find access to land. Land access making right past transgressions in history. Equitable stewardship of land. We’re all in this together. 
27:50- NYFC Report- what spoke to you most?
36:36- Land Advocacy Fellowship is a part of One Million Acres for the Future Campaign which presents policy solutions for 2023 Farm Bill. Which solutions stuck out to you?
37:14- Tanisha responds- creating a USDA organization to help with farm transition, connect older and newer farmers.
41:41- Benu responds. Chose the same recommendation as Tanisha. Especially important in transitioning land to BIPOC farmers. Also providing technical assistance for growing culturally relevant food. So used to monocropping, so that support isn’t there.
44:54- Oscar responds. Setting land aside for community-led projects.
46:51- How to learn more about NYFC
47:20- Job announcements.


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