Equity and Inclusion in Regenerative Agriculture
Food can always be a point of connection. It can be the start of a relationship or the strengthening of one, over and over again. With that comes joy and pleasure, like sharing meals with friends at your favourite restaurants, and also responsibility. A responsibility to treat all those with whom you are connected with care and reciprocity.
Last month, one of our team attended the 2021 EcoFarm presentation on equity and inclusion in regenerative agriculture. Although rooted in the United States, the wisdom of the speakers rang true across the border. We heard from Karen Washington, Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona, Matthew Raiford, Kristyn Leach, and Leonard Diggs — all leaders from around the States whose life's work focuses on the humanness of a truly regenerative system focused on food access for all inspiring community action and empowerment.
Here are our main takeaways:
1. Prioritize the local, community-based solutions that originate in the communities affected. Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen these types of solutions have the most success and they will continue to succeed.
2. Partnerships between farmers and restaurants have the opportunity to strengthen our local food systems and honour the history of the food.
3. The past is full of teachings. "There is nothing we are doing now, in regenerative agriculture, that our ancestors didn't know how to do better. We need to take the time to sit at the feet of our elders and learn all that we can from them" - Matthew Raiford. We would add not just our elders but all elders, especially as settlers.
4. "Continue to make spaces less monochromatic." - Dr. Rodrigo Sierra Corona, Rancher
Bonus: Karen Washington was recently profiled by the New York Times as one of several Black female urban farmers making waves. Settle in and get ready to be inspired. Read it here.