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Ohio Congresswoman Shontel Brown to host U.S. deputy secretary of agriculture in Cleveland for round-table in support of Black farmers....By, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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CLEVELAND, OhIo – Congresswoman Shontel Brown (OH-11) (pictured), a Warrensville Hts., Ohio Democrat who's 11th congressional district includes Cleveland, will host U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small on Mon., March 25 in Cleveland for two events highlighting the importance of urban agriculture and supporting the next generation of Black and minority farmers.

Congresswoman Brown and Deputy Secretary Torres Small, a mexixan-American and and attorney by trade, will visit the Ben Franklin School Community Garden and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI), which received federal funding secured by Congresswoman Brown for their new Precision Urban Agriculture Initiative. The technology project will be utilized for advanced technology, including drones, to support urban farmers. At OAI, Rep. Brown, one of three Black women in Congress from Ohio, will also host a round-table with local urban farmers and other stakeholders.

A member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Brown is reintroducing the Thriving Community Gardens Act, which encourages schools to develop and operate community gardens.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates there are roughly 40,000 active Black farmers in America and they own less than one percent of the nation's farmland as compared to roughly 95 percent of farmland owned by their white counterparts.

Brown's event in Cleveland next week comes as President Joe Biden will square off with former President Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee for the Republican nomination for president, for the 2024 presidential election in November.

Biden is, no doubt, courting the Black vote, and won the critical South Carolina  primary with the help of Black voters in 2020. He went on to oust Trump from office in a heated election and hopes to reengage Black voters in this election cycle.

Polls show that some Blacks remain discontented with the Democratic Party and want concrete solutions to the issues facing Black America. They include systemic poverty, voting rights, housing, healthcare, education, and economic advancement.

"I am honored to welcome U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small to Cleveland. The Biden-Harris administration believes in urban agriculture and supporting Black farmers, and so do I," the congresswoman said. "Earlier this month, I secured community Project Funding for the Ohio Aerospace Institute's Precision Urban Agriculture Initiative and I am excited to highlight this important project and the other exciting work being done in Cleveland."

Brown went on to say that "this is an important opportunity to connect local urban farmers and stakeholders with one of our nation's top agriculture officials and have an important conversation about growing the next generation of urban farmers."

WHAT: Visit to Ben Franklin School Community Garden
WHERE: 1905 Spring Road, Cleveland, OH 44109
WHO: Congresswoman Brown, Deputy Secretary Torres Small, CMSD faculty and students
WHEN: Monday March 25, 1:00 – 2:00 PM

WHAT: Visit to Ohio Aerospace Institute and Roundtable on Future of Urban Agriculture
WHERE: 2280 Cedar Point Road, Cleveland OH 44142
WHO: Congresswoman Brown, Deputy Secretary Torres Small, OAI officials, Local Urban Farmers and Agriculture Stakeholders

WHEN: Monday March 25 2:15 – 4:00 PM



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