Our Global Partnership

Our global partnership with the University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI) aims to galvanize a unified force of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) to collectively address food justice through community education, outreach, and action. Discovering the intersectionality between food, health, and environmental equity is at the forefront of our decision-making and we look to our local, national, and global community members for their unique and shared experiences across these topics.

During Q4 2023 and Q1 2024, The Global Food Justice and Health Equity Team participated in a series of local conversations with CA managed care health plans, BIPOC led health services providers and health services researchers. Under the supervision of COE Center Manager, Cheryl Branch and Senior Academic Advisor/Center Director Dr. Carrie Waterman, the COE continues to highlight and celebrate the culture, contributions, and resilience of BIPOC people. Check out the Black farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners who contributed and continue to contribute to producing food, fiber, and fuel for the USA and the world.


Meet a few of these producers and private forest landowners from across the nation. Learn about their diverse pathways to agriculture and forestry. Discover how they use or have used USDA programs and services to protect their natural resources and maintain viable farm, ranch, and private forestry operations. Keep following us, more new content is in progress. Email us: [email protected].    




Upcoming - Fridays on the Farm: Lifetime of Leadership and Longleaf Conservation

By Chris Groskreutz, NRCS, Georgia – Jan 05, 2024

This Friday meet Herbert Hodges, a retired military veteran, educator, and timber producer in Emanuel County, Georgia. Located a few hours southeast of Atlanta, his family’s farm is an environment where longleaf pine forests and wildlife species can thrive. Named after his father, the Willie Hodges Family Farm Estate is made up of a collective 600-acres, land that has been in the Hodges family since the 1880s.A New Mission Focus

Herbert served nine years of active duty in the Army before becoming a teacher and serving in the Army Reserves. He eventually became a high school principal and, now retired, Herbert is dedicated to restoring habitat across the property he grew up on.

Since 2010, and with help from USDA and the Georgia Forestry Commission, he has transformed 400 acres into a longleaf ecosystem that continues to surprise him.

“After 12 years of restoration, the wildlife has returned,” Herbert said. “I see many more turkeys, fox squirrels, and gopher tortoises. After restoration, they picked up their suitcases and moved in. I don’t know where they came from. They weren’t there when we were planting.”

Now, armed with knowledge and field results, he hopes to encourage producers to improve their land by educating them about assistance from USDA agencies and their partners. 

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View Our Previous (UCGHI) Global Food Justice Interviews