unwasted podcast

Who Owns Our Farmland? A Conversation with Jillian Hishaw

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Did you know that there were nearly 1 million Black farmers in 1920 but fewer than 45 thousand today?

When it comes to making farming truly sustainable in the long run, the elephant in the room is land ownership. Healthy soil matters, but so does who owns the soil. Overall, Black landowners own only 0.8 percent of land in the US today. What accounts for this huge racial disparity in land ownership? We’ve brought in agricultural law expert and farmer advocate Jillian Hishaw. In this episode, Jillian will help teach us some important legal lessons that shape everything about who farms in the US.

Before you put something in the ground, you need to make sure you have the legal measures in place to keep the land.

Jillian hishaw

Episode Show Notes:

  1. Learn more about Jillian by heading to her website. You can also get in touch with her by emailing
  2. Follow Jillian on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
  3. You can pre-order Jillian’s book, “Systematic Land Theft” here.
  4. You can get Jillian’s other book, “Don’t Bet the Farm on Medicaid” here.
  5. The the Guardian article about the racial disparity in agriculture we mentioned a few times is here. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet.
  6. For a full breakdown of who is farming in the United States, check out the most recent USDA Census.
  7. Jillian’s go-to Karaoke song is “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more about what it’s like to make a living as a farmer, check out our conversation with Noelle Fogg Elibol of Kitchen Table Advisors.


  • Jay Seymour
    April 21, 2021 at 10:17 am

    I welcome ya’ll to the party! I have been reducing waste since the first Earth Day. Truly wasteless food use includes vermicomposting of otherwise unusable scraps and use of nonvermicompostable scraps as feed for various birds, including raptors. On occasion, as in right now, I have not been in the position to truly use all I want, but the effort is made as much as possible under the circumstances.

    Seeing you site is heartening and I am patiently awaiting your arrival in my area.



    • Imperfect Foods
      April 23, 2021 at 11:24 pm

      We love it, and can’t wait to fight food waste alongside you! 💚


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