LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Bridging Urban Culture to Agriculture


We will establish a Black farmer agricultural training center, produce market and distribution hub in South Los Angeles, serving as a vital link to Black rural farming projects statewide. By creating engaging content and training youth to manage fruit and produce distribution and connecting them with urban farming professionals, we will empower young individuals to cultivate and market their own food, and get intimately involved in Los Angeles' agricultural infrastructure.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Youth Economic Advancement (sponsored by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

South LA

South Bay

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

The legacy of chattel slavery has understandably left Black Americans with a troubled and traumatic relationship with land, farming and agricultural industry. The USDA, CDFA and other American institutions have only added to this trauma by denying access to farm credit and information on sustaining a successful farming enterprise. Long story short, there is a long history of Black Americans being cut off from securing and maintaining their own food supply since the end of slavery. In addition to institutional racism and other barriers, there are also cultural barriers: A culture of Agriculture has not been established in our urban communities. Poverty and lack of access to land, green spaces and knowledge prohibits masses of Black urban inhabitants from even entertaining careers, livelihoods and past times in agriculture. Our organization and statewide agricultural network aims to end that by providing resources and economic opportunities in the world of agriculture.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Our initiative, "Build the Bridge" embodies the true essence of the word 'Initiative' by fostering independence, taking charge and offering fresh approaches to improve situations. As the main bridge connecting urban culture and agriculture, we require support to (1) secure space for a BIPOC agricultural resource center and produce market and to (2) develop programming and agricultural related content to strengthen LA's urban communities' relationship to land and agriculture. Grant monies will be used to establish a BIPOC agricultural hub in the West Adams/South LA region that will serve as a base for connecting youth (18-29) to agricultural resources and economic opportunities. Youth will be connected with farming professionals in rural farming areas such as Allensworth, CA. Youth will be trained in produce sourcing and distribution in the Southern California area. Youth will be trained on how to grow and market their own produce. Grant monies will enable us to create video content for online courses. We will organize field trips to farms in Allensworth, CA, Ridgecrest, CA and the Central Valley. Physical workshops tailored for youth will be conducted and we also plan to create an urban agriculture magazine. Our role as diplomats in the food system is vital. Given LA's limited space to feed its large population, we aim to connect the youth with agricultural education, innovation and federal and state resources.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Los Angeles County schools have no formal agricultural training for students, but being directly involved in securing one's own food supply is one of the most empowering things a human can do. If our work is successful, youth will see Black Agriculture in action and LA urban youth will grow up knowing that a career in agriculture is possible. If urban youth have a direct connection and relationship with their own food supply, community health increases drastically. Our work represents not only bridging urban culture to agriculture, but also bridging urban culture to the funding and opportunities that the agricultural industry provides. Success in the short term will look a vibrant hub with a high volume of produce sales and deliveries. Success in the medium term will look like regional produce markets/bodegas in SoCal cities. Success in the long run will look like a statewide farmer cooperative and produce network. LA County wins when the underserved become food citizens!

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

We will establish SMART goals for our Initiative and related projects. Success will be measured by our ability to complete the following goals: 1. Establishment of brick and mortar operating facility for agricultural training and retail ops in West Adams/South LA area of Los Angeles by May 2024 2. At least 150 youth (16-29) trained on produce sourcing, sent to Allensworth for a farm visit and/or hired as produce and fruit delivery drivers by August 2024 3. Signed purchasing contracts with at least 10 Black agricultural product producers by August 2024 4. Formal trial farming curriculum and program developed for one South LA high school by September 2024 5. YouTube channel with at least 100,000+ followers by October 2024 6. First issue of urban agricultural digital magazine released by October 2024

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 150

Indirect Impact: 500