INDIANAPOLIS — Legacy Taste of the Garden and Connecting Kids Inside Out are partnering with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Indiana to host this year’s Indiana Black Loam Conference. The conference is part of a five-year cooperative agreement with NRCS to support and advance equity goals by providing critical outreach and technical assistance to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) farmers and producers throughout the State of Indiana.
Legacy Taste of the Garden is a part of a generational African American family whose farm has operated since pre-civil war in historical Lyles Station. Located in Patoka Township in southwestern Indiana, Lyles Station is the last remaining Indiana African American rural settlement. Legacy has provided outreach, education, advocacy, and technical assistance to address the needs of BIPOC farmers and producers, build networks and provided community support for growers in both urban and rural settings.
“NRCS is committed to promoting equity in everything we do, and we could not have a better partner in these efforts than Legacy Taste of the Garden and Connecting Kids Inside Out,” said Dan Hovland, acting state conservationist for Indiana NRCS. “They bring generations of farming experience to the table and when their knowledge is combined with the resources of NRCS we will be able to reach underserved communities throughout Indiana and help them to help their land.”
Legacy Taste of the Garden hosted the first Black Loam Conference in 2022 and they will be hosting five events throughout Indiana in 2023 to reach BIPOC farmers. The first stop of the Black Loam Conference will take place March 18 in Evansville. Additional dates include March 25 in Bloomington, April 15 in Gary, May 6 in Fort Wayne and May 20 in Indianapolis. The events are free to attend, but seating is limited so pre-registration is required. The Black Loam Conference will provide information on USDA programs and resources available to BIPOC and socially disadvantaged producers in rural and urban communities. You can register at https://www.legacytasteofthegarden.com/events.
“These conferences provide crucial education and opportunities to BIPOC farmers and producers to ensure they have the skills and knowledge necessary to start or continue in an agriculture profession,” said John Jamerson, co-founder of Legacy Taste of the Garden.
Each event is organized through a collaboration of partners and supporters. Partners include Indiana School of Ag & Tech, Human Agricultural Cooperative, 3 Flock Farm, People’s Cooperative Market, Shannon Farms and Homestead, IUPUI Africana Studies, Flanner House Farms, Lawrence Community Gardens, Y&E, Indiana Small Business Development Center, Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Purdue University Extension, USDA Farm Service Agency, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.
“These conferences were started to bring awareness and opportunities to the BIPOC farmers. They are hosted across the state so that relationships can be built with farmers and their local agencies and representatives. We are a bridge that closes gaps and opens doors for BIPOC generational farming and rural and urban farming” said DeAnthony Jamerson, co-founder of Legacy Taste of the Garden.
You can learn more about Legacy Taste of the Garden by visiting www.legacytasteofthegarden.com.
— USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service