The land fund was envisioned by community members including aspiring and current farmers of color in the Grand Rapids area. The members below have enacted this vision and done the administrative work to make it happen so far. As we continue to grow, more community members are becoming involved in supporting this work!
My name is Elizabeth, though I go by Liz. I am not the first person in my family to farm, though I am the only person in my family who is farming as a profession currently. I manage the Blandford Nature Center Farm in Grand Rapids, and have been working there since 2016.
I received a B.A. from Grand Valley State University with an emphasis in Illustration. The more I learn, whether it’s about soil management, a new knitting technique, or making connections in the community, the more I see how everything is interconnected. I believe in reciprocity, and that the creation of an equitable food system benefits everyone.
Alita received a B.S. from University of Michigan in Environmental Science and Sustainable Business. She is the founder of South East Market, a sustainable, equitable, people-powered neighborhood market. She sits as the Chair for the City of Grand Rapids Urban Agriculture Committee and as the Land Organizing Director for the National Young Farmer Coalition where she helps people both locally and across the country organize for policy reform.
Alita’s passion is to help people connect to and grow their respect for nature and our home planet Earth. She does this through several forms of community organizing namely children’s programming and community garden projects.
In her free time you can find Alita with her partner, Sergio, and their two daughters, Willow and Alondra, traveling, observing insects, playing soccer and enjoying the great outdoors and good company.
Payge has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan, where she also studied sustainable food systems, gender, and public health. She is a first generation, young, and queer farmer and faciliator from southeast Michigan. She created an urban farm last year for a nonprofit and led education programs for K-10 students, which fueled her passion for liberating our food. Payge is the Michigan Organizer for the National Young Farmers Coalition, where she uplifts farmers’ work and voices into policy conversations, while facilitating community building between farmers across the Midwest.
My name is Mik (she/they). I am a first generation, queer, young farmer in the West Michigan area. Two seasons ago I started a small farm called Stillwind, which is now a 1/2 acre, low till, Certified Naturally Grown operation. I also work full time at Full Hollow Farm & volunteer on both the West MI Young Farmers Chapter & West MI Growers Group boards. I find joy & rest while enjoying meals with others, reading, & spending time outside!
With plentiful barriers to entry & systematic issues, I find it is inspiring to work alongside local farmers, community members, & leaders to hopefully cultivate a more equitable food system & industry for young, BIPOC, queer, aspiring growers.