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NMSDC Announces First Cohort of Black Farmers Equity Initiative

Gaby M. Rojas

The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) is excited to announce the first cohort of the Black Farmers Equity Initiative. The joint venture from NMSDC and Cargill is aimed at advancing agricultural supply chain access for Black farmers. This collaborative initiative aims to create a pathway for emerging Black farmers to achieve parity in the agriculture industry with learning solutions, certification, lending, networking, and new contracts. The 11 members of the first cohort are:

  • Richard Francis aka Farmer Chippy – Francis owns Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm. Its main commodities are pepper and herbs, and it is located on five acres of land in Maryland. 
  • Antron Williams – Williams owns Mahogany Farms LLC. Its main commodities are corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat and it is located on 550 acres of land in South Carolina. 
  • Sidney and Shane Lovelace – The Lovelaces (father and son) own Lovelace Farms. Its main commodities are cows and hay, and it is located on 150 acres of land in Kentucky.
  • D. Spencer Riley – Riley owns Orgaceutical. Its main commodities are leafy vegetables and microgreens, and it is located on five acres of land in Pennsylvania.
  • Michael Rollen – Rollen owns Ophelia’s Blue Vine Farm. Its main commodities are herbs and spices and is located on one acre of land in Missouri.
  • Kimberly Ratcliff – Ratcliff owns Caney Creek Ranch and Farm to Freezer Meat Company. Its main commodities are Charbray cattle and feed resources, and it is located on 2500 acres of land in Texas.
  • Cherie Jzar – Jzar owns Deep Roots. Its main commodities are vegetables, flowers, fruits, berries, herbs, apiaries, and animals and it is located on seven acres of land in North Carolina
  • Harold Singletary – Singletary owns BrightMa Farms. Its main commodity is hemp, and it is located on 96 acres of land in South Carolina.
  • Immanuel Jarvis – Jarvis owns Jireh Family Farm. Its main commodities are permaculture pigs, rabbits, goats, and meat chickens and it is located on four acres of land in North Carolina.
  • Dr. Michael Lloyd – Lloyd owns Num Num Sauce Farms. Its main commodity is tomatoes, and it is located on two acres of land in Georgia.
  • James E Davis, Jr. – Davis owns Bales and Bushels. Its main commodity is cotton and it is located on 2200 acres of land in Louisiana.

“Increasing the numbers of Black farmers in the U.S. agricultural industry is an essential part of achieving NMSDC’s mission of eliminating the racial wealth gap within the next 50 years. We are excited to work with these incredible farmers as they grow their businesses, build generational wealth, and provide much needed resilience to our nation’s agricultural supply chain,” says Jetheda Hernandez, senior director, strategic alliances and programming at NMSDC.

Members from the first cohort of the Black Farmers Equity Initiative will complete an eight-week learning curriculum focused on growing their capacity to take on major national contracts with NMSDC’s corporate members. Members will also receive strategic business support including complimentary NMSDC certification.

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