Black Emancipatory Agriculture Asset Map and Returning Generation Black Farmer mentorship program

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2022: $249,352.00
Projected End Date: 11/01/2024
Grant Recipient: Sankara Farm LLC
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Project Coordinator:
Ryan Tenney
Sankara Farm LLC


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

The Black Emancipatory Agriculture Asset Map and Returning Generation Black Farmer mentorship program will use participatory action research, participatory GIS and innovative arts-based knowledge translation of traditional ecological knowledge to improve Black Food Sovereignty in the Kansas City Area.

The dispossession and displacement of traditional knowledge that accompanied the loss of Black farmers has led to the negative health impacts experienced today. Luckily, some remaining knowledge has survived in collective memory. Historically-underserved communities have always experimented with various methods of production, gathering knowledge, which they then share with neighbors. This methodology provides a process by which to encourage the adoption of agroecological practices among Black farmers in the Kansas City area is built around this legacy.

Historically underserved Black farmers have relied on ingenuity and creativity to cope with structural barriers. Because of this experience, the sensations, perceptions, imagery and problem solving capacities are an essential part of how Black farmers navigate and relate to place. AgroArt will create public art presentations and online engagement visualizing a community cognitive, or mental map of the attitudes, assumptions and aspirations of social sustainability and food sovereignty within historically underserved communities.

Sankara Farm/AgroArt, and Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, will utilize participatory action research methodologies paired with farmer mentorship driven and led by Black farmers to increase the numbers of Black Farmers embracing Agroecological practices and contribute to the production of new knowledge, and reveal traditional ecological ways relating to land; including responsibility to the community and environment. 

The Returning Generation Black Farmer to Farmer mentorship program combines  Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Services and experienced Black farmers in the Kansas City area to mentor Black farmers in agroecological production methods. Black Farmer focused participation action research will guide ongoing studies in Agroecology, farm field days, and workshops to identify community expertise and interest in Black agrarianism and train up to 10 farmers in, culturally relevant and sustainable agroecological practices to enhance local Black Food Sovereignty. The program will provide employment opportunities for Black farmers through paid internships, and compensating people for their time resulting in an increased number of skilled Black Farmers in the Kansas City area, improving financial outcomes and enhancing social sustainability in Black communities. 

These methodologies and innovative actions will improve the numbers of skilled Black Farmers and increase their awareness of Agroecological practices, therefore improving financial viability for the historically-underserved yet culturally rich Black farmers in the Kansas City area.

Project objectives from proposal:


  1. Identify the areas with potential to support local Black farmers’ food production and distribution. It will increase the knowledge and attitudes of food sovereignty with Black farmers
  2. Increased awareness of the cultural, nutritional, and agroecological value of Traditional Agricultural practices to African American communities.


  1. Engage Black farmers through on-farm demonstration, collective study, and mentorship leading to an increase in the adoption of agroecological practices and knowledge of traditional agricultural practices.
  2. Create returning generation farmer training infrastructure, utilizing Arts-Based knowledge translation; culturally relevant curriculum and mentorship. Increased access to culturally relevant outreach materials and increased adoption of agroecological practices.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.