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Rep. Marcy Kaptur comments after Cleveland farmers are tapped by the USDA for FSA representation for farmers as farming while Black remains rare in America and 95 percent of U.S. farmers are White-Rep Fudge is a member of the House agricultural committee

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Pictured are urban Black farmers, 11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio (D-11) (wearing bluish-green suit), and 9th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Ohio (D-9)  (in blue suit and turtleneck) and, the Midwest and Ohio's Black digital leaders.Tel: (216) 659-0473 and Email:

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), a Toledo Democrat whose ninth congressional district extends to Cleveland, responded after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Cleveland will be the recipient of a new Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee focused exclusively on urban agriculture.

County committees have enabled farmer input on the delivery of FSA programs since the 1930s, and these new committees are part of USDA’s efforts to better support urban agriculture.

The longest serving woman in Congress, Kaptur said that she  is glad to have helped make Northern Ohio a leader in urban agriculture after leading efforts for years to install the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.

“I am glad to see Cleveland will be will be the recipient of a new Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Facilitating urban agriculture has been one of my dearest priorities in Congress."

The committees are organized through USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, and the first five will be located in:

Cleveland, Oh

Philadelphia, Pa.

Portland, Ore.

Richmond, Va.

Albuquerque, N.M.


Five additional county committees will be announced in the fall.

Cleveland is a largely Black major American city of some 385,000 people, and the second largest city in Ohio, behind Columbus, the state capital.

It is led by four-term Black mayor Frank Jackson, the city's third Black mayor.

Rep Marcia L. Fudge, one of two Blacks in Congress from Ohio and a Warrenville Heights Democrat whose majority Black 11th congressional district also includes Cleveland, and mainly its largely Black east side, is chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations and, like Kaptur, she too is constantly fighting for food security

Rep. Kaptur said that the farmers are invaluable to their communities, playing a large role in reducing food insecurity and making fresh produce available to those who might otherwise not be able to access it.

"This is a positive step forward and I look forward to working with the soon to be established county committee in Cleveland," Congresswoman Kaptur said.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 95 percent of farmers in the country are White, some 3.2 million of them, while Blacks, nearly 50,000 of them, represent only a small fraction of the nation's farming industry at 1.4 percent.

Kaptur and Fudge are not alone in their support of urban farmers, and the need to increase minority participation.

“County committees represent farmers and set priorities at the local level,” said Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “Urban and suburban farmers are uniquely qualified to identify the needs of growers and their communities, especially when it comes to making fresh, healthy food accessible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only one in 10 Americans eats the daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables, and people living in poverty have especially low rates of consumption of fresh produce

FSA officials are encouraging farmers in urban areas to rise to the challenge, and to encourage others to participate.

“I encourage urban growers to nominate candidates to lead, serve, and represent their community on their county committee,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “Diverse representation can ensure that the needs of all farmers, including urban and suburban farmers, are included in local decisions for USDA programs.”


The urban and suburban county committees will work to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices. Additionally, the new county committees may address areas such as food access, community engagement, support of local activities to promote and encourage community compost, and food waste reduction.

Committees will make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. Their input is vital to how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment, and other agricultural issues. and, the Midwest and Ohio's Black digital leaders.Tel: (216) 659-0473 and Email: Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, and who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.


Last Updated on Sunday, 16 August 2020 18:05


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The annual11th Congressional District Caucus Parade is Monday, September 2

11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, a Warrensville Heights Democrat who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress. waives to the crowd last year at the annual 11th Congressional District Caucus Parade.  This year's parade kicks off on Monday, September 2 on Cleveland's east side at 10:00 am from E. 149th Street and Kinsman Road and ends at Luke Easter Park where the picnic will begin. The event will be replete with political speeches and entertainment from various sources, including local musicians and bands. The well-attended caucus parade was initiated by Democrat Louis Stokes, the retired congressman before Fudge, and the tradition was furthered by the late Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Fudges' predecessor. Stokes was the first Black congressperson from Ohio and Tubbs Jones was the first Black congresswoman from Ohio