Program gives Black families from Madison area opportunity to explore world of agriculture

VERONA, Wis. – A new urban triage program is planting seeds for positive change.

Urban Triage’s Healthy Black Agriculture program is establishing its roots at the Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability. The organization hopes its newest endeavor will grow a new and engaged community of future farmers.

Starting next week, the program will welcome 20 Black families from across the Madison area to explore the world of agriculture.

According to a recent USDA report, there are just 73 Black farmers representing the state’s total farming population.

The overarching goal of the program, according to its agricultural lead Rothanna Hutton-Okpalaeke, is to help Black community members learn about farming and gardening for the future.

“It’s to provide those families with really good produce, for one thing, and to teach them how to do it so they can bring it back home,” said Shedd Farley, the director of the Farley Center.

Each session of the program will focus on different elements of the industry and food accessibility.

“It’s so important for us to understand where our food comes from, and also who the people growing our food are,” Hutton-Okpalaeke said.

In educational sessions, the group will also address entrepreneurship, family bonding, and trauma recovery.

The program will run through the summer season, wrapping up in August. Applications will be accepted until May 11. To learn more, click here.