The 214th recipient is Ashley McGhee @2asplus4js in Helotes, Texas.
Ashley writes, “Growing food was born out of a need for healing and growth during a rough time in my life. I was taught to grow food at a very young age and I'm so grateful that I rediscovered it. I feel like I was created to do what I do. Every other path I took in life did not work for me, but farming was different. It felt completely natural for me and I feel at peace when my hands touch the soil.
Farming has connected me with so many beautiful people I'd have never met in my community and around the world. It connected me in a new way to my ancestors. It's taught me many life lessons. It brought my family together in a beautiful way. It has had a noticeable impact, for the better, on my mental health. I have had to work, however, to get stronger physically and learn when to stop, to maintain my physical and mental well being and have balance. Farming is very taxing at times, so self care is something I've had to learn to do since starting this journey.
I am compelled to farm because there needs to be representation! There were NO farmers who look like me when I started and now look at us! I want to help inspire and teach as many young black farmers and growers as I can while I can.”