Sparkle Aesthetic Shape

West Michigan

Young ​Farmers


Sparkle Aesthetic Shape




Sparkle Aesthetic Shape

The chapter started as a way to build off of the work that the National Young Farmers Coalition has done for the last decade. We’ve been advancing the conversation around equitable land access in West Michigan and beyond to bring attention to vital resources needed to close the gap present for BIPOC farmers realizing their land ownership dreams and having the resources they need to thrive.

Farmer holding hemp seeds

started 2021

Sparkle Aesthetic Shape



Our chapter’s goals are to build power for BIPOC farmers and strengthen the local coalition of both BIPOC growers and allies to support the diversity and equity inherent in the agricultural sector in West Michigan and beyond. We are committed to working towards a more sustainable future through supporting farmers, development of soil and agricultural resources, community education, and policy advocacy.

Our chapter’s goals for 2024 and beyond are:

Sparkle Aesthetic Shape

Increase participation in our chapter led events

Sparkle Aesthetic Shape

Increase chapter membership to leverage numbers for building political power and collective agency

Sparkle Aesthetic Shape

Help facilitate a pipeline and pathway for urban to rural farm leadership specifically for BIPOC, women, and queer farmers

Sparkle Aesthetic Shape

Leverage our work to resource current and aspiring young farmers to have sustainable businesses

our Work


Educating the community through hands on learning opportunities


Supporting land stewards by resourcing farmers committed to regenerative practices


Providing opportunities to amplify the voices of those who nourish our nation

our Leaders

Angela Haan

Asia Horne

Kristin Zuller





Alita Kelly

Payge Solidago

how it started

We were inspired to start organizing by the farmer-chapter model created by the National Young Farmers Coalition, a policy-advocacy organization that supports the gathering and advocacy work of 51 localized farmer-chapters across the country. We came to this work hoping to create systemic change in West Michigan, and as we saw the values of land skyrocketing in Grand Rapids, we decided to focus on land access. Inspired by the foundational work of the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund and Washtenaw County Black Farmer Fund, we knew something like this could happen in West Michigan too. So we began hosting informal listening and visioning sessions with current and aspiring farmers of color in the Grand Rapids area. These conversations collectively visioned our current effort, the West MI Farmers of Color Land Fund.

why farmers of color?

Green Okra Vegetable

People of color are drastically underrepresented in farming nationally, especially Black farmers, who make up less than 2% of farmers in the US, and only 0.4% in Michigan. In West MI, there are only about 10 farmers of color that we know of and many more aspiring growers and farmworkers. However, there are limited safe and appropriate opportunities for BIPOC aspiring farmers to thrive. Most rural land is in isolating environments and too far from the communities that many of these folks live in and want to serve. Options for urban farming are limited too; there are only 60 vacant lots in the city of Grand Rapids, the largest city in West Michigan. Most of these lots are too small for an operation to be able to scale, while most other green space is owned by collaborative churches or developers. We investigated all the vacant lots of Grand Rapids and have identified a few that could be viable for urban agriculture. We are drafting a proposal for the planning committee of Grand Rapids with the hopes that they will give land to farmers of color before it is taken by gentrifying developers like companies owned by the DeVos family.

We fully support efforts that focus on Black farmers, like the Detroit and Washtenaw Black Farmer Land Funds. We decided to open our movement up to all farmers of color, because of the population dynamics and demographics in our region. While supporting as many farmers of color as possible, we still aim to center Black aspiring farmers in this work.