Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement
Foraged & Sown is committed to a racially and socially just society. That commitment includes recognizing our privilege, individually and as a farm, and continuing to act on opportunities that honor and support those who came before us on the land we farm and live and their descendents.
Our greenhouse in Columbus, Ohio is located on developed land now filled with private residences. The land was previously tended by Kaskaskia, Hopewell, and Myaamia civilizations. There are known and recognizable earth formations within very short distances, likely from the Hopewell. The same area’s more recent inhabitants actively participated in the liberation of enslaved people through the Underground Railroad.
Our farm space in West Jefferson was previously tended by the Kaskaskia, Hopewell, Adena, Shawandasee Tula and Myaamia people throughout history. During one shameful period of our nation’s history, the land was claimed by a white settler via the Homesteading Act. Since that time, white people have sold and purchased the land from each other.
Our farm is currently owned by white women. We recognize the privilege that allowed us to purchase the land and allows us to access the space with little fear of personal harm. In an area that is predominately white, we recognize that the color of our skin, no merit of our own, is the main factor in that safety.
As a farm business, we acknowledge the harm that modern agricultural methods have on the environment and on humans. We know that environmental issues disproportionately affect racial minorities and that there are many factors at play in that injustice. We are committed to reducing harmful farming practices as our farm grows.
Agriculture in our country has been built on a human-made hierarchy putting physical labor on the lowest rung of compensation. Foraged & Sown recognizes that there is great skill in all of the activities of a farm business, and that no person is disposable or expendable. Slavery in our country falsely posited the idea that agricultural labor doesn’t demand adequate pay and until recently, white history has largely disregarded the fact that very knowledgeable agricultural workers were kidnapped and brought into this country for their knowledge during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Foraged & Sown will continue to work to be in solidarity with people of color and to learn about the contributions to agriculture made by Black and Indigenous people. We know that we have a lot to learn and strive to remain humble with that in mind. While we have little experience with this, we are committed to growth, and we will change this statement as Foraged & Sown changes.
Kate testified to the Ohio Senate in 2022 on behalf of the Family Farm ReGeneration Act urging the inclusion of additional support for BIPOC farmers in the proposed legislation. Her comments echoed funding set-aside requests she made during Farm Bill lobbying in Washington DC two years earlier.