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40 Acres

and a


mule plow

40 Acre Co-op and One couple — are transforming the conversation for black and marginalized farmers.

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EVO Hemp

The Hemp Industry and Minorities

We owe a great deal of thanks to the black community for their role in bringing cannabis out of the dark ages and into mainstream America. They have been at the forefront of the legalization efforts and have paid the greatest price for its criminal penalties.

Restrictive Entrance Requirements

Each state has its own requirements for licensing cannabis and/or hemp businesses. They all, however, have steep licensing fees and expensive facilities requirements, making it difficult for anyone who isn’t already wealthy to enter the playing field.

In many high minority cities and counties, the greatest percentage of licenses are still being awarded to white business people, people who already have large holdings or strong financial connections. They use these resources to leverage their entrance into the industry. Even for localities with overt social justice policies, it isn’t enough to make a difference. So what is the answer?

The Role of History

After the Emancipation Proclamation and before President Lincoln died, an order was issued to provide black men with forty acres to farm the land, and later a mule to become independent. Andrew Johnson, the Vice President who took over after Lincoln was shot, was sympathetic to the South and reversed the order. The program never got off the ground.

EVO Hemp Bars

Creating Resentment

But even in this plan, the government wasn’t buying or donating federal lands to fulfill this promise, they were taking land from private land owners instead. How would you contain the resentment of the previous land owners and their sympathizers? The war would never end, black men and women needed to be respected and also needed land, for long term success. They wouldn’t have achieved it through this method. If the proposal had been for federal lands instead of private, it may have succeeded and we would be reading different stories in our history books.

Farming and the Black Community

In 1910 black farmers made up 14% of all the farmers in the United States. Now they only represent approximately 1.4%. With the industrial age and many black families living in urban centers for generations, the collective knowledge of how to farm has worn away. The sense of belonging to the land and appreciation for it has been weakened further. As the collective memories of farming diminish, an identity with farming as a source of pride has dimmed.

Farming is becoming more and more scarce throuhgout our society, not just in the black community. We have exchanged our respect for hard work, being outdoors with the earth, nature, and tools for a worship of technology. But what good is technology if you don’t have food to eat?

One couple from Minnesota have stepped forward to help other black and marginalized farmers to climb out of this pit.

40 Acres Cooperative
Brownie chip hempbars

40 Acre Cooperative working with EVO Hemp

Husband and wife team Angela Dawson and Harold Robinson are working to change the playing field for black and socially disadvantaged farmers.


Angela Dawson is a fourth generation farmer and president of 40 Acre Cooperative. She has several degrees and certificates in business management as well as experience in the health field and some law school education. All of these life achievements have ideally positioned her for her role as a farmer and advocate to help other would-be farmers succeed with a legally regulated crop.

Harold Robinson is a third generation farmer and retired army veteran. He is the Chief Project Manager and Growth Officer overseeing logistics, transportation, and property management. Harold has over ten years experience growing hemp.

After their own struggles with local, state, and federal roadblocks and red tape, they are reaching out to other black farmers to share the struggle, resources, and rewards of small farming. Their own farm is sustained by hemp grown for CBD and they partner with EVO Hemp to buy and process their hemp for retail sale.

You can also visit their new shop at 40 Acre store.

Member Benefits

Becoming a member of the 40 Acre Co-op community as a hemp grower includes some unique benefits


The cooperative provides support to marginalized farmers by helping them build a solid plan and staying by their side as they implement that plan from start to finish. This includes helping to find a suitable planting location, locating resources including agriculture grants and loans, training and education on how to grow hemp and get the best yield, and help with distribution as well.


The support and mentoring members of the co-op receive gives them access to the resources, education, and community they need to be a successful and beneficial member of the hemp farming community. You are no longer alone!

Hemp Farming

With hemp as their cash crop, farmers with a passion for a particular type of produce or livestock can slowly grow that as well, knowing they have a yield they can depend on to pay the bills. This increases diversity to local food supplies and expands the local food movement. This is the way farming has always been done throughout history, and it works by working together. Society prospers when we eat and do business locally.

EVO Hemp

EVO Hemp is a brand that specializes in CBD and hemp-based products. Their hemp bars are sold in some major supermarket chains.

Important facts about EVO Hemp

  • EVO Hemp is dedicated to sustainable farming practices and works directly with farmers who use regenerative agriculture techniques
  • They are committed to fair trade and ethical business practices, sourcing their hemp from small farmers.
  • They place a strong emphasis on sustainable packaging using eco-friendly, recyclable, and biodegradable package options.
  • EVO Hemp has a wide range of product offerings that include CBD but also hemp seed products such as protein powders and hemp bars, hemp oil and hemp chocolate chips, which are rich in vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and minerals.

Values Matter

Large commercial farming conglomerates and other multi-national businesses primarily benefit CEOs, owners, board members, and stock holders, not everyday people. Not farmers. Not consumers.

I don’t even like the term given to us by big business: consumers. We are PEOPLE, who eat, sleep, work, play, and sometimes make purchases. Our first designation is as a person, not as a commodity to make others rich. It’s about making a living, not ruling the world through the power of money.


So let’s support small farmers. You can support black farmers by buying EVO Hemp products and other products grown by 40 acre co-op farmers. Buy local. Encourage those who are drawn to the dirt to take the plunge and start farming. Look to cooperatives like 40 Acres Co-op and other leaders to show you how to be successful in farming and learning how to share expensive resources to enable all to succeed.

And think local.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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