Spotlights Black Farmer Fund
The Artisan Grain Collaborative (AGC) is a network of nearly 200 farmers, millers, maltsters, bakers, chefs, food manufacturers, brewers, distillers, researchers, and advocates working together to promote a regenerative grain shed in the Upper Midwest. As a value chain network, AGC’s purpose is to serve the stakeholders within their regional grain economy. Through their member network, they share resources, tell stories, and connect members with one another on specific aspects of regional supply chain development. In 2022, we offered AGC a grant to support in the development of a multimedia storytelling project and video series to narrate and animate the grain chain collaborations within their network of dedicated folks growing, processing, and making good stuff with grains in ways that are sensitive to environmental stewardship and community needs.
Black Farmers and Food Entrepreneurs should be leading the conversation around solving food apartheid in Black communities….Through our [communications] we are providing Black Farmer Fund Staff, Fund Recipients, Investment Committee, Board and Community in the Food Industry the space to share their perspectives, personal stories, and opinions as they relate to our work.
- Deep narrative building, bringing educational resources to Black communities, highlighting the importance of community wealth building to build community power, and uplifting Black ancestral legacy in agriculture via earned media efforts
- Acquisition of and training on software like Meltwater to support pitching and placement in digital and print media
- Developing media collateral for public relations, fundraising and community engagement
One of the ways that we create community wealth is by placing the power of how, and where, money gets distributed into the community of Black agricultural workers and owners themselves, so they are dictating where the money goes.
BFF developed and implemented their multiprong communications approach as a lead to the formal launch of BFF 2.0 campaign in 2023. As part of that process they developed a stunning video series intended to share the narrative of Black farmers as community members acting in their freedom and thriving on the land. They worked with a media strategist to promote and uplift the videos, build support for BFF, and connect Black farmers. In 2022, BFF secured over 30 broad platform media placements, including in Essence, Modern Farmer, FERN, Civil Eats, and Whetstone Magazine. They were featured in NPR with over 37 million followers and Health line media with over 1 million followers. Immediately following the BFF 2.0 launch, the BFF co-founders were awarded a James Beard Award. Within the first year of launch, BFF 2.0 raised the first $1,000,000 of their $20,000,000 goal. With past investments in eight projects that provide 95% of goods and services sold locally and generating $610,000 in revenue, BFF has been strengthening the regional food sovereignty movement.