LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Coleman Crest Farm is one of Lexington’s oldest black owned family farms.
After battling breast cancer for a year Cathy Clash Coleman, the wife of Jim Coleman, recently passed away. This groundbreaking was a celebration of her birthday.
Mayor Linda Gorton noted that of the 76,000 farms in the state, only about 600 are owned by African Americans.
“We need to remember our farms are businesses, they’re simply land based. They add to our economy and they produce jobs and we must protect our farmland,” Mayor Gorton says.
From the late 1800’s to the 1920’s African Americans purchased more than 15 million acres of farmland. Today they only own about 3 million acres.
Jim Coleman hopes to help close that gap with the very farm his great grandfather purchased for $1,200 in 1888, just 25 years after he had gotten his freedom.
Coleman says because of this purchase, over 300 of his descendants were able to go to college.
“We were always committed to using the farm for good and being able to give back. We’ve been blessed and it’s time for us to be blessing others and so my commitment here in lexington is to work with each of you as partners,” Coleman said.
He says they plan to work with local schools, as well as local leaders to better the community.