Juneteenth marks the day of June 19 of 1865, where Union Soldiers arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, emancipating enslaved people in the last Confederate territory. Although Juneteenth was declared a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth is considered the longest-running African-American holiday in America. It is a day of celebration and remembrance recognizing Black resilience, strength, and achievement.
In celebration of Juneteenth this year, President of 40-acre Co-op, Angela Dawson, welcomed the UMASH outreach team and guests from across the Midwest to her farm for the first annual 40 Acre Co-op Juneteenth celebration. Founded in 2019, 40 Acre Co-op is a farmer cooperative committed to agricultural development and the creation of economic opportunities for socially disadvantaged farmers in the U.S. With former UMASH researcher Maria Bertrand initially discovering and connecting with the 40 Acre Co-op in May, UMASH was able to help Dawson prepare for the event by providing safety and health tips when hosting large groups on the farm. The event welcomed guests with food, music, and tours of the farm for a time of healing, reflection, and celebration of Black farmers. As 40 Acre Co-op’s mission is rooted in “growing stronger together,” the words shared by Dawson and members served as important reminders that everyone can play a role in advancing equity and justice within agriculture.