Episode 2: Black Agrarian Resistance in Jackson

Mississippi has a long history of Black agrarian resistance, and Dr. Cindy Ayers is continuing it in her work at Footprint Farms in Jackson, Mississippi. Descended from Civil Rights veterans and sharecroppers, Cindy’s work as an investment banker took her all over the world until she decided to get back to her roots with farming. Her 68-acre farm in the middle of Jackson serves as a hub for learning and organizing: the variety of programs are designed to support and provide access to young, Black people in Jackson.

Following in the steps of many Civil Rights activists, Cindy is creating opportunities for people to feed themselves so they can free themselves. 


About the Guest

Dr. Cindy Ayers-Elliott is the dynamic farmer and CEO of Footprint Farms in Jackson, MS. Prior to being a farmer, she was an investment banker in New York and a CEO of Delta Enterprises in Mississippi Delta. “Trading in her high heels for a pair of work boots,” she has planted seeds in the soils of the beautiful Mother Earth and in the minds of the young future entrepreneurs. She dedicates her time and efforts to ensure that her farm is economical and environmentally friendly as well as an educational tool for novice farmers.

Dig Deeper

Fertile Ground: Watch the beautifully-done documentary on the impacts of industrial food on health in Jackson, MS (and see Cindy and Footprint Farms). 

Check out The Fertile Ground Project on Instagram to see some of the exhibitions in the city-wide art project. 

Real Food Reads meets Foodtopias: Lazarus Lynch, author of Son of a Southern Chef, visits Dr. Cindy at Footprint Farms on Ep. 5 of his Food Network show “Comfort Nation”. Watch it now

To learn more about Black agrarian resistance in Jackson and beyond, check out Real Food Reads pick Freedom Famers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement by Dr. Monica White. 

Take Action

Support SAAFON, a regional network for Black farmers committed to using ecologically sustainable practices to manage their land and the natural systems on it in order to grow food and raise livestock that are healthy for people and the planet.

Episode Credits

Host: Tiffani Patton
Co-producers: Tanya Kerssen and Tiffani Patton
Editor: Asal Ehsanipour
Theme Music: “Set Me Free” by Will Magid
Logo & Design: Christina Bronsing-Lazalde

Header image: Rory Doyle