Fresh Future Farm (FFF) will host its second annual SC Black Farmers Conference from March 28th to 30th at the Penn Center in St. Helena, SC. The goal of the conference is to bring food activist experts from across the country to share their best practices with new, budding, and established South Carolina growers. The SC Black Farmers Conference will leverage expanded food literacy into an action-based event grounded in shared economic and social justice opportunities. NASA engineer and pitmaster, Howard Conyers will serve as the 2020 Keynote Speaker.
Howard is a native of Paxville, SC and grew up on the same soil labored by his slave and sharecropper ancestors. This knowledge was furthered strengthened as he became an avid collector of antiques his ancestors used. “Small rural farmers (Black and white) have to be some of the best engineers and scientists in the US. Given they may not have a budget as large corporations or government entities, they have to be very creative. Everyday, I am more appreciative of the knowledge and hands-on knowledge acquired by being the son of a Black farmer.” Conyers’ enthusiasm for small farm ingenuity adds richness to our theme this year “a farm family reunion.” FFF Chief Farm Officer, Germaine Jenkins. “I didn’t want people to be inspired without immediately connecting with local farmers and resources to take action steps that benefit [Black farmers in] the state.”
Along with Howard, Erika Allen, Malcom Evans, Laurell Sims (from Urban Growers Collective in Chicago), and Wilfred L. Pace (CEO of Orangeburg agricultural consulting firm, Pace & Associates of SC LLC) will be on hand.
This year’s conference will map and access Black farms and farmer needs and provide healing and massage spaces thanks to sponsor Transformation Yoga. Ben and Jerry's Foundation has contributed funds to this intergenerational organizing effort. Tickets and sponsorship information can be accessed at www.scblackfarmers.org. Scholarships registration and accommodation at the Penn Center are also available.