Farmer Equity Act recognizes racial discrimination, enables state to identify barriers & provide much-needed support to farmers

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sacramento, California – Earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that would require California officials to focus on and address the challenges facing farmers of color in the state by making access to  state and federal resources more equitable. This comes at a critical moment as the current generation of farmers is retiring and new farmers are increasingly represented by people of color, including immigrants and refugees.

“While historic discrimination won’t be solved overnight, the Farmer Equity Act opens the door requiring that  state officials identify and address the ways farmers of color, including black farmers, have largely been ignored,” said Dr. Gail Myers, PhD, co-founder of Oakland-based Farms to Grow, and a leading member of the California Farmer Justice Collaborative.

The Farmer Equity Act, AB 1348, authored by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), directs the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to better provide resources, outreach, technical assistance, and decision-making power to “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers,” so called because they have been subjected to historic racial discrimination.