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Celebrating Black History in Agriculture & Extension: Stories from the Field


For Black History Month, we're shining a light on the achievements of Black leaders who have shaped Extension work in food, farming, and health. Dive into our curated collection of resources and learn more about their valuable contributions to agriculture, Extension and below.

Stories from Cooperative Extension

  • In honor of Black History month, Cornell Cooperative Extension shares the contributions of Black individuals who helped to set the standards for Cooperative Extension. Tuskegee University was the first Cooperative Extension program in the United States.Thomas Monroe Campbell was the first Extension agent employed by a Cooperative Extension program. This article focuses on Mr. Campbell’s notable contributions to Extension. In the piece, he is described as a trailblazer and pioneer, with a legacy of innovation, education, and community outreach that set a standard the nationwide Cooperative Extension system uses today. Explore the legacy of Thomas Monroe Campbell.

Stories from the USDA

  • During Black History Month, Black Seeds Urban Farm in Memphis Tennessee celebrates its rich agricultural heritage by providing local organic produce to communities with limited access to fresh food. Founders Bobby and Derravia Rich  view themselves as custodians of sustainable foods that are ingrained in Black culture. Black Seeds not only provides healthy foods but honors their ancestors by growing traditional crops like greens, okra, and pecans, highlighting the essential role these foods have played in nourishing communities over the years. The farm hosts educational events and workshops, communal gatherings, and provides a space for relaxation and meditation for its community members. Read more about here about Black Seeds Urban Farm

  • Walter Brooks Jr. runs Brooksmade Gourment Foods in Atlanta, specializing in clean label condiments, sauces, and rubs. These products reflect his commitment to quality and sustainability and passion for culinary arts. Through trade shows and partnerships, Brooksmade has expanded globally. For Black History Month, Mr. Brooks will prepare a diplomatic dinner at the U.S consulate in Dubai highlighting the contributions of Black agriculturalists to food culture and systems. Walter mentors aspiring entrepreneurs and advocates for black-owned agriculture products in the global marketplace to showcase the community’s contributions.
    Read more here: Soulful Food and Sauces: Through USDA Programs, A Black Agribusiness Owner Rises Internationally

Stories from the Extension Foundation

  • Florida's Black legacy is promoted and celebrated by Florida A&M  Extension through its "NorthStar Legacy Communities" initiative. These communities -  beacons of cultural and economic stability since Emancipation -stand as a testament to sustainability and the preservation of Black heritage. Dive into the vibrant history of these communities via the Program Center Stage Webinar.

  • In this piece, contributed to Extension Foundation's Connect Extension platform by Central State Extension, readers will learn about that institution's first official 4-H program in partnership with  Dayton Urban Riding Center. The article shares the important history of Black equestrians, and why providing opportunities to youth of color to engage in that activity is critical. “Youth of color who reside in urban areas don’t have opportunities to see black riders, let alone opportunities to become one. For them, an equestrian culture does not exist. This partnership changes all that.” Read the full story here.


In this month of reflection and celebration, we honor the contributions of Black farmers, advocates, and communities. Their stories inspire us to forge a more inclusive and equitable future for all in Extension and agriculture.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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