If you haven’t heard much about black farmers recently, that might be because there aren’t many of them around. Or, as advocate Tanikka Cunningham put it recently, “If there was an endangered species list for farmers, black farmers would be at the top.”

Cunningham is the co-founder of Healthy Solutions, a fledgling Washington, DC-based organization working to bring awareness of black farmers to a national level, despite (or because of) the fact that they now make up less than one percent of all agricultural producers in this country. A former produce distributor who now works simultaneously to connect black farmers to markets while providing folks in low income neighborhoods with fresh produce, Cunningham and her group named last week, July 10-16, National Black Agriculture Awareness Week.

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Later today, when the President announces his 2010 budget, which slashes 121 programs and about $17 billion, there’ll be one crucial area where spending will increase. Working with his closest advisers, President Obama is attempting to redress the longstanding civil rights grievances of black American farmers, by proposing a $1.25 billion deal to settle their discrimination case against USDA, which has come to be called ‘The Pigford Claims.’ (Pic: John Boyd speaks at a USDA rally) Read more