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Montgomery County is seeing increased interest in farming among people of color – and developing guidance to help new and established farmers who are Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). 

The Montgomery County Office of Agriculture and the Montgomery Countryside Alliance, a farmland protection nonprofit, announced this week that they will be partnering on an online guide for BIPOC farmers to strike a balance between the county’s commitment to equality and agriculture, and to provide farmers of color with “specific resources to get growing and sustain farm ventures in the county.” 

The guide is divided into sections that explore the past and the present of agriculture in the county and begins with a background on the ways BIPOC farmers have been systemically excluded from access to land and resources, a news release says. 

“Over the past few years farm seekers are far more likely to be people of color, women, and immigrants – many with decades of experience farming, many looking to meet the increasing demands for culturally relevant local food,” Kristina Bostick, senior conservation associate for MCA, said in the release. “There are specific needs this population of farmers have and thankfully there are increasingly more tailored resources to help sustain farms. This guide is a way to collect and share those resources.” 

Officials stated that the guide will connect BIPOC farmers with virtual and real-life networks and provide information on grants and resources on training, marketing assistance and other topics. 

The website will also offer translation of the online guide into more than 100 languages to make the content accessible to a wider audience, according to OAG officials. 


According to the latest Ag Census in 2017, non-white agricultural producers comprised 9.7% of county farmers, which is up from 6.7% in the 2012 census. According to the release, while farmers from these groups will continue to rise, these numbers do not reflect farmers that “hit insurmountable stumbling blocks to starting or sustaining a farm.” 

According to Montgomery Countryside Alliance officials, a June 2022 listening session with a range of agricultural producers led to farmers voicing their needs for more funding, support in land access, as well as more inspiration. 

Through the launch of this guide, officials hope to bring more justice and equity into the Montgomery County food system. 


“Montgomery County has plenty of room for more farms, and we will all thrive with greater inclusiveness – it’s our hope that we will need to update this guide often with more and more success stories and opportunities,” stated MCA Executive Director Caroline Taylor.