While some barriers have been removed over the last few years, BIPOC communities, including immigrant, refugee, tribal, and farmworker communities, have not fully participated in USDA Programs. Gaps still exist within the agricultural system that limit access to land acquisition, farming education, and capital for small to mid-scale BIPOC farmers which limits culturally relevant food solutions in regionally adapted staple crop markets. WSU Food Systems’ proposal will support the creation of a BIPOC-led Steering Committee and the subsequent development of a needs assessment of consumers and producers to identify gaps and map opportunities for thriving regional, culturally-relevant, small-to-mid scale, ecologically grown (biologically-intensive, organic and sustainable) staple foods (grains, pseudo-grains or seed crops, pulses, oil seeds, and nuts) within BIPOC communities in Washington. WSU FSP hypothesizes that a culturally relevant needs assessment will ultimately reduce the barriers of BIPOC farmers in creating sustainable, culturally-relevant staple crops enterprises. The needs assessment will include a market analysis to better understand potential within the BIPOC and wider communities for staple crop businesses. The creation and outreach strategy for the farmer needs assessment and consumer market assessment will be designed by the BIPOC-led Steering Committee of farmers, educators, and processors, and will be available in several languages. The WSU FSP sees this work of refocusing staple crop systems to meet relevant cultural and economic needs within BIPOC communities as vital to furthering food sovereignty and creating a more equitable, sustainable food system in WA.
- Principal Investigator(s): Lewis, L.
- Grant Amount: $40,000