Young people learn how to grow and harvest sweet potatoes in a program put on by the West Fresno Family Resource Center to help teach them about agriculture and business. Submitted photo

published on February 26, 2018 - 2:13 PM
Written by David Castellon

The first of what could be an annual series of Growing Together Black Farmers with Urban Farmers Conferences will be held Feb. 28 in Fresno.

The West Fresno Family Resource Center — a nonprofit working primarily to improve lives in west Fresno, among the poorest Valley communities — is sponsoring the event with the U.S Department of Agriculture that will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Maxi Parks Community Center, 1802 E. California Ave.

The conference is open to all farmers and ranchers, “yet is uniquely tailored towards black farmers and urban farmers,” stated a press release.

“While we know California has black farmers, especially in the growing urban sector, we don’t often see them at traditional agricultural events and venues,” Ray Dotson, acting California state conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, stated in the press release.

“We have learned over the years that giving farmers a unique space to connect and share advice about opportunities in markets, conservation, capital, pests and all the other challenges farmers face provides them with better opportunities to grow the fresh food needed in communities across California.”

Workshops at the conference will include discussions on accessing capital and business resources, youth in agriculture and resources available from agencies. In addition, an urban leadership roundtable will be held, as will a panel of black farmers who will share their tips for success.

The free conference will include breakfast, lunch and light appetizers for the participants. For more information, call Victor Hernandez at 530-792-5628 or Christine Chavez at 530-792-5695.

Register online at

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