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Black Farms

A thriving local food system is important- it creates jobs and it protects our natural environment. Black farmers contribute to agricultural production and local food, but their numbers continue to decline as a result of historic discrimination. In the 1920s there were 926,000 Black farms in the United States. In 2017 there were only 35,470. The trend continues downward. Luckily, Alachua County has a growing population of Black farmers and farmland. 

Community leaders, elected officials, advocates of a local food system and Working Food staff visited three of Alachua County’s Black farmers to learn about their stories, products and services, 
Come join us to learn more!

John Nix Farms

All Photos by Shoog McDaniel

John Nix is a third-generation African American cattle farmer in Rochelle, Florida. Mr. Nix raises a herd of 40 natural beef cattle on over 80 acres of pastureland. Mr. Nix raises Angus-Senepol cross beef breed. He has been intentionally breeding this line of cattle for the tenderness and tastefulness of grass-fed beef. He produces cattle directly for the local consumer. Mr Nix’s delicious high-quality meat is available to be purchased at the farm to put directly into your home freezer. Mr. Nix is eager to teach local residents about the benefits of eating healthy meat. Armed with knowledge regarding beef preparation and nutritional information, Nix farms is poised to support Alachua County’s food security and community health.

Fisher Farms

All Photos by Shoog McDaniel

Fisher farms, managed by the father and son team of Lennon Sr. and Lennon Jr. is a fifth-generation African American farm in Alachua, County, Florida. On approximately five acres of land, Fisher Farms cultivates seasonal vegetables, fruits, and herbs for local markets.  The Fishers have been bringing high-quality produce and vegetables to consumers in Gainesville, for over 40 years. Fisher Farms uses natural fertilizers and pest management techniques to ensure that consumers eat healthy, nutrient-dense food. Establishing relationships with their clients and neighbors allows Fisher Farms to produce culturally-specific food sources for community members. Fisher Farms would like to expand their enterprise to better contribute to the regional food system by acquiring more land and increasing the agricultural workforce who support the farm. Although their farm is sustaining, they note the challenges associated with being a fifth-generation Black farm in the modern world.

Butler Farms

All Photos by Shoog McDaniel

Alvin Butler owns and manages Butler Farms. Mr. Butler raises a herd comprised of Brahman, Piedmontese, and Hereford cattle on approximately 100 acres of land that has been in his family for four generations in Micanopy, Florida. Butler uses grass grazing rotational methods to keep his beef healthy and natural. As a caretaker of his family’s legacy and land, Mr. Butler is proud to pass on his extensive knowledge of beef preparation to consumers. Selling directly to customers in Alachua County, Marion County, and the surrounding region, Butler Farms provides a high-quality product that is cost-efficient. Butler Farms has the capacity to expand their direct sales operation to better support a local food economy.

The Benefits of Local Food, with Thriving Black Farms 


Local food systems support:

  •  food producers and food production

  •  food access and marketing

  •  food economies and food political economies

  •  environmental conservation, sustainability, and rehabilitation 

  •  cultural food practices and food sovereignty


  •  community connectedness, health, and wellbeing.


In the past thirty years, the movement to localize food systems has emerged as an alternative to the damaging, unsustainable effects of large scale commercial farming. This move toward a localized food system is a paradigm shift away from practices that create inequalities toward regional resilience and community.

Local food is your food.

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