The Good Ground Committee

                  Good Ground Committee members visiting Terry Rd Farm in March 2022

The Good Ground Committee (GGC) is a majority Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) group representing a variety of professions and expertise relevant to the Good Ground Initiative’s equity, farming, and conservation objectives. The GGC is part of TLC’s effort to metabolize organizational connections to support agriculture and environmental stewardship equity. Committee members serving during the preceding years (2022 and 2023) will help develop and implement the initiative’s pilot project, including creating an application and review process for BIPOC agriculturalists interested in purchasing conserved land. The Good Ground Associate invites members to participate based on their experience, commitment to supporting farmers, and ability to serve as a collective resource for BIPOC agriculturalists engaged in the program.

Learn more about the current committee members below:

Jacob Crandall

Jacob Crandall is an Agriculture Program Specialist with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In that position, he provides services to small, limited resources and minority farmers who are traditionally underserved. These services are provided through outreach to assist this audience in making informed decisions and advocating for excluded populations. Before working with NCDA&CS, he worked with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, where he held several field-level and management positions.

 

 

 

Taij & Victoria Cotten

Taij and Victoria Cotten are 1st generation farmers currently farming with their mentors at Perry-winkle Farm in northern Chatham County. They grow seasonal vegetables and specialty cut flowers and raise pastured laying hens using sustainable and spray-free farming practices. The Cottens reside in their native town of Pittsboro, NC, with their two children: Carleigh and Titus. They are excited to be a voice for farmers in rooms where decisions are made for farmers. “We care about the Good Ground Initiative because it encompasses conservation, environmental stewardship, agriculture, racial equity, and land justice.”

Mavis Gragg

Mavis is a seasoned attorney and conservation professional with nearly two decades of experience in real estate, conflict resolution, estate planning, and probate. Mavis serves as the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Project Director at the American Forest Foundation. Before this role, Mavis founded the Gragg Law Firm, PLLC, in which she assisted her clients in estate planning, estate administration, and heirs’ property matters. Drawing from her experience, in 2020, Mavis co-founded HeirShares, an app designed to empower landowners to manage complex heirs’ property ownership. Mavis has served as Chair of the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority and on the Board of Directors for Triangle Land Conservancy. With her sister, Mavis co-founded Black Women Drone and the Gragg Family Fund.

 
 
 

Paige Jackson

Paige Jackson is a regenerative farm manager based in Durham County. She and her husband Derrick launched Grass Grazed Farm in 2019 while stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Grass Grazed is a pasture-based regenerative farm focusing on soil health and sustainable farming practices. The farm raises pork, chicken, and cattle. They strive to offer transparency from farm to table for all their customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

George C. Jones Jr

George C. Jones Jr has more than 25 years of successful professional management experience in economic and community development, small business advocacy, and social entrepreneurship for opportunity and growth with diverse populations and distressed communities. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Piedmont Business Capital– a community-based lender focused on creating socially responsible investments that revitalize the Piedmont through flexible financial products and sound advice. George is recognized as a maximizer, arranger, and activator with a vision for building sustainable outcomes and positive results that promote climate-smart impacts for the local economy.

 

 

 

Hector Lopez

Hector was born in Mexico City. For more than 20 years, he has worked on several community projects focused on strengthening the social fabric through the care and regeneration of local ecosystems that allow people to achieve food autonomy for their health. He is co-owner of Hawk’s Nest Healing Gardens, a small farm in Durham, NC, where he organizes events and workshops to share his experience on regenerative agriculture, circular economy, and permaculture. All these practices are based on his ancestral traditions in which human beings are part of and protectors of the environment. “The Good Ground Initiative offers the opportunity to reclaim the land for those who have been historically discriminated against because there is no Environmental Justice where there is no Social Justice.

 

 

 

Clarenda “Cee” Stanley

Clarenda “Farmer Cee” Stanley is CEO of Green Heffa Farms, a medicinal plants and herb tea farm in Liberty, NC, also the nation’s first Black-owned farm to earn Certified B Corp status. Honoring and acknowledging the contributions of her enslaved ancestors, she is a seventh-generation heritage farmer from the Black Belt region of Alabama. Founded in 2018, Green Heffa Farms is an emerging natural health brand governed by its 4Es commitment to Environment, Equity, Education, and Economic empowerment. The farm is headquartered on nearly 15 acres in Liberty, NC, from “see to sip,” organically and regeneratively producing the beneficial botanicals featured in the farm’s unique herbal blends.

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