James Minton wanted a better life for himself and his family after years of living in New York City. Now, he has fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning farmland in Upstate New York.
According to theGrio, Minton owns Triple J Farm in Windsor, New York, making the establishment one of the only Black-run farms in the state.
The journey toward owning a farm wasn’t easy for Minton. He was faced with grief after his son was shot and killed in the same apartment building Minton lived in. At that moment, he realized that he needed to make a change for himself and his loved ones.
Now, he’s a successful farmer and runs the 20-acre land with several family members. According to the website, Triple J Farm shows other Black men and women how they can thrive as potential farm owners.
“We want to create a new brand ‘Black Farmer’ that brings the new joy to being a black farmer,” the website reads. “Whether you work at a farm or aspire to be a future farmer our brand fits you.”
The establishment also has bees, chickens, cows and goats. Its products are raised and made with care, providing a positive experience for its customers and the community.
Jarrad Nwameme, one of Minton’s grandchildren and the chief executive officer of the farm, shared why owning farmland is essential for Black farmers.
“The importance of Black farmers is land. Land is ownership and it’s the foundation of everything,” Nwameme explained to theGrio. “There’s not many of us and the resources tend to not be available for us.”
According to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture, Black farmers represent only 1% of all farmers nationwide. Black farmers have also struggled to obtain government loans — their loan USDA requests are rejected at more than two times the rate as white farmers’ requests, according to CNN. However, several lawsuits have been brought against the USDA by farmers who allege they are not getting their fair share of loans due to systemic racism, per Reckon News.