2013 JBF Leadership Award Winner Cynthia Hayes

 

Cynthia Hayes
Executive Director, Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON)

 

Cynthia Hayes spent many childhood summers on her family’s tobacco farm in Kentucky and fondly recalls the “stinky pile” that existed in the corner of her uncle’s field. “He was composting,” she says with a laugh. “We just weren’t calling it that back then.”

 

The visionary environmentalist, who started the Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON) approximately five years ago, encountered a series of roadblocks, among them many people who asked her why African-American row croppers would consider such a niche market. “Why wouldn’t they?” she remembers asking in response. “When you look historically and culturally at black farmers, they were originally organic producers. But they were also out of the loop in terms of... Read more >

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