My grandmother would bring in her fresh food from her garden. An early morning ritual that was commonplace in my childhood home. One that I took for granted. She often talked about early mornings and late nights on the family farm. How before she could read her books - she and her siblings were responsible for ensuring there were items to take to the market. A different time brought to life at our wooden dining table as we washed away nature's allies from the greens.
I was born in Arkansas. A deeply southern state drawn into the corners of Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee. Our rural terrain houses the economic ecosystem that not only grows a lot of our nation's food but provides the routes and paths to get them to your dining room table. I’m also the child of African immigrants. A continental culture though massively different across its position on the globe relates itself to a rooted belief in the community and worship of gathering around a plate. This ritualistic celebration that opens its arms to neighbors and combats the rogue individualism that plagues so many.
It’s hard to talk about advocacy without mentioning the core tenant of access. It’s even harder to talk about health without addressing the inequities around food.
At TR&Co. we know that the agricultural industry has the potential to create a more sustainable and equitable future for our planet, and that it is essential to center the voices and experiences of those who have been left on the margins of opportunity in the industry.
Through our Margins Framework - we provide “a comprehensive approach to engaging with marginalized communities and creating meaningful impact”. Our core belief that strategic and continuous engagement with those most historically ostracized from the realms of opportunity is the only way to reach collective success. A proven methodology that impacts not only social good but the triple bottom line across many industries. In rooting ourselves in the goals inside social impact, we are able to provide direction, clarity, and results that are intertwined with humanity and still provide sustainable solutions.
So when we discuss the growth strategy inside of the agricultural industry it’s no different. The global agricultural technology market size is expected to reach $22.5 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 12.2% from 2020 to 2025. (Source: ResearchAndMarkets).
What does this mean for farmers? It means that there is money inside the industry. But without intentional investments and strategies implemented at the very core of the industry - we are preparing ourselves to move further away from the actual art and science of farming and headstrong into just profits.
As we talk about food and access - those with the deepest relationships centered around it find themselves priced out and left out of the conversation. While farm-to-table becomes more trendy, advocates are asking how blacks and rural whites are forced to only engage with major chains and indigestible options as their counterparts are able to select their chosen meats.
Alongside new technologies, there has to be an open-door conversation around the pipelines into farming including start-up costs, educational support, quality of life, etc. There has to be a rehabilitated narrative around what farming can mean for the legacy of a family. There has to be engagement.
Agriculture is more than food. It's the relationship we foster between our bodies, our environment, and our communities. It's the legacy we lay for our future generations. It's the focal point of survival and the opportunity for us to provide not just sustain but operate in prosperity and health.