Detroiter seeks to reduce barriers for urban farmers on new fed panel

Detroit farmer Jerry Ann Hebron has been chosen to serve on a new federal committee that will provide input on federal farm policies, identify barriers to urban farmers and promote urban agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week. 

Hebron is executive director of the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm and North End Christian Community Development Corporation in Detroit’s North End. She said she wants to push the USDA to address the barriers facing urban farmers, such as their limited access to capital and programs designed for rural farmers. 

Jerry Ann Hebron, pictured here in May 2018, is seeking to reduce barriers to urban farmers on a new committee formed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“These are the issues that I bring to the table,” Hebron said. “I want to lift those up and see how we can work through these policies to make it more equitable for people of color, Black farmers specifically, but also for the urban agriculture community across the country.”

The Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture is part of the department’s effort to support urban agriculture and diversity in agriculture. The 2018 Farm Bill directed the USDA to create the committee to help it develop policies for urban, indoor and other emerging agricultural practices, reach out to people who work in those fields and identify barriers to urban agriculture.

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