Skip to main content
Farm Credit Mid-America 2024 Board of Directors and Nominating Committee Elections Now Open Click here for more information

Farm Credit Mid-America Announces Partnership and Donation with Black Soil KY

Farm Credit Mid-America has announced its commitment to donate $200,000 to Black Soil KY, an agritourism social enterprise that fosters a greater market share for Black farmers in Kentucky.

// Company News

Farm Credit Mid-America has announced its commitment to donate $200,000 to Black Soil KY, an agritourism social enterprise that fosters a greater market share for Black farmers in Kentucky. This four-year partnership will support agricultural education and diversity initiatives across the Commonwealth, including Lexington, Louisville and Hopkinsville.

“Black Soil KY’s focus on agricultural education, innovation and diversification aligns with Farm Credit Mid-America’s purpose to secure the future of rural communities and agriculture,” said Mark Barker, Senior Vice President of Ag Lending for Kentucky. “This investment is part of Farm Credit Mid-America’s ongoing commitment to invest in programs and initiatives that grow the next generation of agriculture, advocate for the industry and invest in programs that strengthen rural communities. This includes supporting organizations like Black Soil KY that foster diversity and inclusivity in agriculture.”

The investment will be paid out over four years in $50,000 installments from 2021–2025.

Farm Credit Mid-America’s commitment will support the following initiatives:

  • Urban High Tunnel Project: Grants will support a collaboration between Black Soil, Grow Appalachia and Seedleaf to construct and install forty-eight urban microfarms (called high tunnels) across Hopkinsville, Lexington and West Louisville. These microfarms will cultivate organic seasonal produce in market gardens in efforts to decrease residential food insecurity, increase specialty crop input into the local food system and cultivate new and beginning farmers.
  • Black Soil KY Grow Kits: Grow Kits are at-home garden kits that allow families to learn how to grow their own food while nurturing an interest in urban gardening and agriculture. The investment will support the distribution of two hundred Grow Kits to middle and high school students throughout Kentucky, including Hopkinsville, Lexington and West Louisville every year of the partnership.
  • Virtual Learning Modules: The Grow Kits will complement Virtual Learning Modules that feature Black Kentucky farmers and provide information about diverse and sustainable agricultural practices and career exploration. These modules will also provide information about farm financing, loans and the capital necessary to grow a farming operation.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Farm Credit Mid-America will also continue to engage with Black Soil Kentucky over the next four years through a variety of programs and volunteer opportunities.

Black Soil KY is a Lexington, Kentucky-based non-profit whose mission is to reconnect Black Kentuckians to their heritage and legacy in agriculture and encourage life-long learning among its audiences of all ages, from kindergarten to adulthood.

“Diversity is needed not only socially, but it is critical to the application of agriculture,” said Ashley Smith, Co-Founder and COO of Black Soil KY. “We’re thrilled to be able to partner with Farm Credit Mid-America to advance our cause in fostering a greater market share for black farmers and producers across the Commonwealth.”

To learn more about Black Soil KY, please visit:

* Loans and leases are subject to credit approval. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Farm Credit Mid-America is an equal opportunity lender.

† Patronage is an annual decision made by the Board of Directors to return earnings to eligible customers. To learn more about patronage or patronage eligibility, please visit our Patronage page.

Farm Credit Mid-America territory includes Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. Arkansas includes Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha (northeast of the White River), Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Phillips, Poinsett, and St. Francis counties. Missouri includes Carter, Ripley and Wayne counties. Kentucky excludes Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken counties. Ohio excludes Crawford, Hancock, Lucas, Marion, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties. We serve all counties in Indiana and Tennessee. 

You May Be Interested In

Agricultural Loans

A range of loans* designed with your operation in mind.

The Power of a Cooperative

A customer-owned lender is a locally-owned lender.


More than $1.25 billion back in our customers' hands over the last 8 years.

Growing Forward®

Preparing agriculture's next generation of young & beginning farmers.