2017 Highlights: Opening Windows to a Multicultural World on a Historic Vermont Farm

The Clemmons Family Farm is a community partner of Champlain College.


Dear Friends,

2017 was a busy year on the Clemmons Family Farm as we explored new programs and partnerships. Much of our work over the year was centered on “proof of concept” activities to demonstrate that this beautiful 148-acre historic property is a vital asset not only to our family and to African Americans across the country, but to our entire community, our state and our nation.

According to the 2012 US Census of Agriculture, there are nearly 1 billion acres (915 million to be exact) of farmland in the United States. Over the span of our parents’ lives, African American land ownership in the US has dwindled from roughly 40 million acres in the 1920’s when Jackson and Lydia Clemmons were young children, to roughly 3.5 million acres today. Less than half of one percent (0.4%) of all farms in the United States are African American-owned and operated. In Vermont, of the nearly 1.2 million acres of agricultural land, only about 720 acres are owned or principally operated by African Americans/Africans, and of the roughly 7000 farms in our state, only 19 or so are owned or principally operated by African Americans/Black Americans.

With its glorious 18th century buildings, expansive and scenic views of the Adirondacks and open land, forests, woodlands, and prime agricultural soils, the Clemmons Family Farm is a very rare gem with endless potential to continue our parents’ legacy of sharing their love of a multicultural world of art, literature, science and nature with others.

With support from individual and institutional donors in 2017, we were able to achieve quite a lot through work done entirely by a small team of volunteers (not a single paid employee).  As you review this report, imagine what we will be able to achieve in 2018 as we move forward TOGETHER in our work to build a loving and enriching multicultural community in Vermont.

A special word of thanks to our institutional donors in 2017: Vermont Humanities Council, Sundog Poetry Center, Inc., USDA/NRCS, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Vermont. Their support enabled us to offer special programs to our community, and to improve our agricultural practices too.  I also want to express our deepest gratitude to ArtPlaceAmerica, for their innovative leadership and tremendous support. The ArtPlace America grant of $350,000 will enable the Clemmons Family Farm and our partners, from 2018 – 2020, to rapidly expand our arts and culture programs to improve social well-being, build a loving and enriching multicultural community, and preserve a rare and beautiful African American-owned historic property in Vermont through the A Sense of Place project.

As usual, you’ll find lots of photos and videos to enjoy in our latest offering from the Clemmons Family Farm with love:


2017 Highlights Report
Opening Windows to a Multicultural World on a Historic Vermont Farm
Go to this Sway

On behalf of our parents and partners, I wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy, peaceful and productive 2018, and look forward to working with many of you this year.



Lydia Clemmons, PhD, MPH, Director, Clemmons Family Farm
Executive Director, A Sense of Place
2213-2158 Greenbush Road
Charlotte, Vermont 05445
Website: www.clemmonsfamilyfarm.org
Like us on Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/ClemmonsFarm/
Mobile: (802) 310-0097