Student curated list of some sustainable agriculture heroes

The scientific, systematic, and local-level contributions of BIPOC, LGBTQIA members, as well as disabled persons, to improve sustainable agriculture and our food systems often go unacknowledged, and are underrepresented within the scientific community and media. Below are introductions to some of these agricultural heroes:  

Alfred Melborne of Three Sisters Garden

Three Sisters Garden draws from Native American sustainable agricultural practices. Their programs of community supported agriculture and youth mentorship has given their community in West Sacramento affordable, fresh produce as well as provides a safety net for underprivileged and at-risk youth. 

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George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver’s experiments with legumes have transformed agriculture in the American South through the promotion of crop rotation as a remedy for degraded soil and pests. He also helped pave the way for future aspiring scientists by obtaining a college education during a time when African Americans were barred from attending universities. Carver is also attributed the invention of industrial and culinary uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes. Read more...

Kaitlyn Murray , PhD student in the UC Davis School of Agriculture 

Kaitlyn Murray is a PhD Student in the UD Davis School of Education, with an emphasis on science and agriculture education. Her devotion as an educator and community leader has progressed the goal of transforming agriculture into an inclusive space, where people of diverse identities can thrive and collaborate to solve issues facing the agricultural community. Kaitlyn’s research focuses on experiences of LGBTQ+ students and educators in agriculture, which lacks representation in scientific literature. She works alongside LGBTQ+ youth and educators in agriculture to collaborate on projects that aim to disrupt the exclusive narratives of who belongs within the fields of agriculture. Read more...

Kristyn Leach of Namu Farm 

Protecting tradition and building community through the narrative of food, Kristyn Leach of Namu Farm is an active voice for empowering farmers of color and enabling communities to define their own food system. Kristyn is an active leader in protecting the rights of farmers to save seeds and voicing the importance of seeds for preservation of diverse cultures within the community. Providing platforms that bring community members together, she progresses efforts to address disproportionate challenges faced by farmers of color and local issues of food justice. Read more...

Tending and Gathering Garden 

The Tending and Gathering Garden program is part of the Cache Creek Conservancy, with the goal to reconnect people through cultural connections to the land, and educate the public on how to care for it. With Native community members leading the educational aspects of Indigenous sustainable agriculture, the continuum of traditional knowledge to new generations plays a key role in the program’s initiatives. The Tending and Gathering Garden conducts research with UC Davis on use of cultural burning in restorative agriculture. Read more...

Yisrael Family Urban Farms

Transforming the hood for GOOD, Yisrael Family Urban Farm’s political activism and community education programs bring an understanding about the issue of inequitable food systems and the development of their own sustainable solutions to the problem of food accessibility. Read more...