James Minton, who’s approaching age 90, owns farmland to create wealth for his family.
According to AOL.com, Minton owns Triple J Farm in Windsor, NY. The 20-acre land is among the limited number of farms in the state that are operated by Black individuals.
Minton previously lived in the projects of New York but always had a passion for farming. It took 40 years for his dreams to come true, according to NPR. Minton used his earnings he had accumulated over several decades from his stocks and 401K to finance the initial expenses of the land.
“That was the most important thing, the initial payment,” Minton explained to NPR.
Now, he is running the farm which has cows, chickens, bees, and goats alongside his family.
“Just to see everybody together, it’s like seeing you’ve accomplished something,” Minton told NPR.
The property is steadily expanding and their business is growing.
Minton’s grandson, Daryl, currently lives on the property and with his help, the farm went from selling 30 dozen eggs every couple of months to pushing close to 200 dozen each week. During the height of COVID-19, the Minton family sold between 1,000 to 1,200 dozen eggs a month.
Daryl’s priority is creating generational wealth. Prior, he worked at major grocery store in New York.
“At the end of the day, that didn’t make any sense,” Daryl told the outlet. “Why couldn’t me and my family use the things that we know and try to build our own wealth, or build the wealth to help my grandfather out?”
The Minton family understand the difficulties of operating as Black farmers. According to NPR, farming costs are often very difficult for Black farmers. This also implies that the path to running a profitable business is not straightforward.
Olivia Watkins, co-founder and co-executive director at Black Farmer Fund, shared that even small farms’ equipment costs can run from $50,000 to $100,000. When considering this reality and racial income inequities between Black and white farmers, there are many barriers that discourage Black farmers from existing and thriving in the sector.
“There are systemic structures that have created the situation that we see today,” Watkins said.
Nonetheless, this is a fight that the Mintons plan to stand firmly on as they push for more ownership.
“That’s the message that we’re trying to promote: Give us our land back. Give us our acres back. Give us our opportunity, so we can give to our children and so we can teach our children,” said Minton’s grandson, Jarrad Nwameme.
Looking ahead, Triple J Farm plans to increase their production. They plan to raise goats and bring more chickens unto the farm. To be profitable, Daryl says they will need to consistently sell at least 1,000 eggs weekly.
They are also defining the land’s success by involving the next generation to participate in managing the land.
“We want to continue to grow,” Nwameme expressed to AOL.com.