Leah Penniman on her new book, ‘Farming While Black’

Leah Penniman is co-director and program manager of the 72-acre Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, which is dedicated to training a new generation of black, brown, and indigenous farmers while working to dismantle racism and injustice in the food system. Her new book, “Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land,” is a first-of-its-kind guide for farmers of color. (No paywall)

Nominee for top USDA lawyer changes office rules

Steve Vaden is wearing two hats at USDA: He's the White House nominee to become the department's top lawyer, known as the general counsel, and he is effectively leading the legal shop as the principal deputy general counsel. Politico says morale "has plummeted" because Vaden "is enforcing workplace changes that have provoked unusually bitter labor negotiations" and because of his record in private practice defending state voter ID laws that were challenged as racially discriminatory.

What prompted land loss for black farmers? An obscure property law

African-American farmers lost millions of acres of land across the South as a result of an obscure legal provision that is only now being corrected in state legislatures around the country, according to FERN’s latest story by Leah Douglas produced in partnership with The Nation magazine. (No Paywall)

Few African-American farmers in organic movement

"If organic farming is at the forefront of American agriculture, many black farmers are still catching up," says Civil Eats, citing USDA surveys that found 116 black-owned farms among 14,093 certified organic farms.