There Is Healing in the Soil: A Reflection on Being Black in Agriculture
By Scheril Murray Powell
In February 2020, I spent time in Africa (The Motherland), in Jamaica (my MOTHER’s land), and at agricultural conferences and farms throughout the United States. At one point years ago, I had no interest in spending time outside, much less on a farm. However, when I became a part of the Cannabis industry, that all changed. Cannabis led me to Agriculture and encouraged me to embrace my Agrarian past. I have now come to love my time spent on farms around the world. So, as I reflect on another revolution around the sun, I step fully into my profession as a Cannabis and Agricultural Attorney. I have even come to refer to myself as an Agriculturalist.
As a young child living in New York, I grew up enjoying my grandmother’s garden. She planted tomatoes, mint, roses, and corn annually. The cycle of planting season, harvest, and then the fall season was a part of my life, but I barely noticed it. Once we moved to Florida when I started high school, my parents started to plant fruit and vegetables that they’d longed for from their past life in Jamaica. We had bananas, numerous citrus fruits, varieties of mangoes, Ackee (the Jamaican National Fruit), coconuts, June Plum, yams, and sugar cane growing in the yard. Each month represented a season of harvest for different plants. Though my parents had lived in the United States for decades, they had not forgotten the “goodness” of freshly grown food on your plate, especially if grown by your own hands. In contrast, I could not tell one tree from another unless the identifying fruit was in season. When I visited my family in Jamaica, there were chickens in the yard and goats traveling up and down the streets. However, I did not associate those animals with livestock farming; they were just my entertainment.
Scheril Murray Powell, an agricultural and cannabis attorney, is in-house counsel for Sunflora/Your CBD Store. She is the former Director of Federal Affairs for the Florida Department of Agriculture, and current Executive Director for the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists of Florida. She serves on the Board for the Hemp Feed Coalition, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and the U.S. Hemp Building Association. Hear and see Scheril speak at the Experience Hemp SUMMER SOLSTICE Virtual Conference and Trade Show, June 16-19, 2020. Register for free here.
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Podcast – Hemp for Our Future: Hemp Helps America
Episode 36 of the Let’s Talk Hemp Podcast takes a look at how three amazing hemp leaders are bringing the industry together in an effort to help combat some of the issues resulting from pandemic pandemonium. Hemp for Our Future was the brain-child of Courtney Moran and Shawn Hauser, who brought in Annie Rouse and Friends of Hemp to organize and execute an ongoing campaign to gather supplies and help utilize hemp products to help America fight the war on COVID. In addition, Rick speaks with Kyla DuMont, the Vermont transplant to Los Angeles, that finds her path taking her back home as a result of the COVID economic relocation program. She describes the current state of the State of California, how she came up with the idea of MediMaple, combining cannabinoids with maple syrup, and how many folks didn’t realize maple came from a tree!
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The Colorado Hemp Company, the producer of the 7th Annual NoCo Hemp Expo (NoCo7), is a leading organization for the advancement and advocacy of hemp farming, processing, production, innovation, education, and legalization in the USA. The entire team is committed to researching and developing alternatives so that hemp can once again thrive and help individuals and communities throughout America and around the globe. The 7th Annual NoCo Hemp Expo will take place August 6-8, 2020, at the National Western Complex in Denver, CO.