Release: Cynthia Hayes Scholarship Awarded to Rising Stars in Sustainable Agriculture


Launch: Cynthia Hayes College studentship Awarded to Rising Stars in Sustainable Agriculture

August 11, 2022

For Quick Launch

Contact: Laura Zaks

Nationwide Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

[email protected] 

Tel. 347.563.6408

Launch: Cynthia Hayes College studentship Awarded to Rising Stars in Sustainable Agriculture

College students exemplify Hayes’ dedication to racial equity 

Washington, DC, August 12, 2022 – Right now, the Southeastern African American Farmers’ Pure Community (SAAFON), the Nationwide Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), and Minorities in Agriculture Pure Assets and Associated Sciences (MANRRS) introduced that three scholars have been awarded the Cynthia Hayes Memorial College studentship.  The three scholar awardees: Rhema Meggett, Justin Walker, and Sydney Lawson have been every launched with $5,000 to assist their proceedd work in sustainable agriculture and bolster their dedications to promoting racial equity in meals and farm methods.

The scholarship’s namesake was SAAFON’s former director, a Founding father of The primary internetwork for African American organic farmers Inside the US, and an inspirational strain Inside The event of NSAC’s initiatives round racial equity in meals and agriculture. Cynthia was an ally in NSAC’s effort To enhance alternatives for youthful leaders of colour Inside the sustainable meals and agriculture movement, with An eye fixed in the direction of Making a brighter future for all. The scholarship program, now in its fifth yr, goals to assist Black and Indigenous scholars within MANRRS Who’re Considering about doing work within sustainable agriculture and are dedicated to Engaged on factors that influence black farmers. 

“Like so many completely different organizations, NSAC benefited immensely from Cynthia’s information and dedication to our work constructing a simply meals and farming system. Cynthia labored intently with NSAC as we very deliberately nurtured The subsequent period of leaders, particularly leaders of colour. It is our privilege and honor to acinformation three excellent scholar leaders Yearly who embody Cynthia’s ardour for racial equity and sustainable agriculture. Her legacy lives on by empowering youthfuler durations to proceed this work,” said Kelsey Watson, NSAC Affiliate Director of Halfnerships and Engagement.

“SAAFON Is joyful to proceed the legacy of our late founder, ‘Ma’ Cynthia Hayes, whose dedication to Black farmers and sustainable agriculture is epitomized by this yr’s Hayes Memorial College students. As awardee, Sydney Lawson, wrote in her software, ‘to farm wright hereas Black is to continuously study, construct, and advocate for your self and your group.’ We’re joyful to be a small An factor of assisting the journeys of Rhema, Justin, and Sydney, As a Outcome of they proceed to study, construct, and advocate On this space. Black agriculture Inside the US Will not deepen, proceed, and strengthen itself with out The eagerness, genius, and lived excellence Of people like this yr’s scholars,” famous Dr. M. Jahi Chappell, Authorities Director of SAAFON.

“MANRRS is proud to companion with the Southeastern African Farmers’ Pure Community and the Nationwide Sustainable Agriculture Coalition as quickly as extra for the Cynthia Hayes scholarship. By linking palms with organizations focused on advancing agricultural covperiodge and promoting racial equity within our farm system, our hope is that this scholarship assists To enhance illustration of minorities pursuing careers in meals, agriculture, natural resources and STEM-related disciplines. This scholarship reveals the dedication that MANRRS and our companions share To assist everyone obtain their goals,” commented Ashantáe Smith, Enterprise Supervisor of the MANRRS Nationwide Office.

Biographies and statements from every of this yr’s winners are included under:

Rhema Meggett is from Boone, North Carolina. Rhema attends the College of Nebraska-Lincoln and research Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication.  

“My household’s farming historic previous has had An monumental influence on my life. A pair of of my earliest reminiscences are of being on the farm and choosing corn, shelling peas, and hauling watime periodelons. All by way of all of these actions I used to be surrounded by household, and we shared group and dialog. My relationship with the farm has impressed me to be A greater listener and A greater storyinformer. Listening to the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of my household, And notably The women, has sparked within me a ardour for documentaries. I even Want to current voice to the untold tales Contained in the farm group And permit black farmers To converse their fact. By developing my social internetwork, I am going to have a properly of inspiration To draw from Once I start To inform the tales of the people by way of documentary. I really feel my goals for this yr align properly with Mrs. Cynthia Hayes’ legacy in that I need to work in the direction of the empowerment of black people And women All by way of the place, starting on my campus,” shared Rhema. 

Justin Walker is from Atlanta, Georgia. Justin attends the Tennessee State College and pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Science with a cas quickly asntration in Agribusiness. 

“Agriculture Is persistently in our Eachday lives from the second we Get As a lot As a Outcome of the time we Go to sleep. The scarcity of minorities in agriculture evokes me to be An factor of the change and Discover your self to be the illustration That would change lives. Additionally, coming from an metropolis environment Tright here is A area of curiosity between rural world And concrete world. Through agriculture I am impressed to bridge this hole as metropolisization proceeds to develop And concrete agriculture Discover your self to bes extra prevalent. In 2017 my household moved to Savannah, Georgia And that is wright here I graduated Highschool. Through The assist of Cynthia and completely different black farmers Inside The encircling space, I grew a ardour for agriculture and black farmers. Each Saturday my household would go to the native farmers’ market at Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia to assist the black farmers and buy current Vegatables and fruits. In three yrs, Cynthia crossed paths and labored with in earlier yrs The identical farmers that my household would buy from by way of her work centered round land and environmental simplyice. As a Outcome of of Cynthia Hayes and black native farmers, I used to be launched to All of the possibilities in agriculture, And that i am devoting my undergraduate research and evaluation to Arising with plans To assist black farmers Similar to “Farmer Joe” And a lot of completely differents that I met at Forsyth Park in Savannah,” commented Justin.

Sydney Lawson is from Bowie, Maryland. Sydney attends Chatham College pursing a Grasp of Arts in Food Studies. 

“My dream is to see stronger meals sovereignty developed within marginalized communities of colour by way of a extra centralized heirloom seed saving and commerce system. I might actually like for farmers and civilian group members to have greater entry to seed libraries opperiodted by the BIPOC group. Seed sovereignty is such An important facet of resistance and empowerment within our damaged meals system and is essential to our sustainable future…I’ve to be Half of the movement that is redefining agriculture Contained in the black group. I see myself working to combine agrarianism into the Black zeitgeist, serving to to excavate the previous traumas Associated to it, and transmuting them again into empowerment and pleasure. A lot of who we are is rooted in agriculture, and I even Want to assist restore the bridges from our previous to our current,” said Sydney.  


Regarding the Nationwide Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

The Nationwide Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for fedperiodl covperiodge reform assisting the prolonged-time period social, financial, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn extra and Get entangled at: https://sustainableagriculture.internet

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