Black farmers often fall under the radar, but a new initiative with Airbnb and The New Communities Land Trust is putting the spotlight on them. The company and organization are partnering with some down South to launch what they call the Southwest Georgia Agri-Tourism Trail–a first-of-its-kind experience to bring travelers to see the land and learn the stories of Black farmers.
“Travel has long opened new doors to discovery – and the very nature of hosting lends itself to telling stories, sharing traditions and understanding history firsthand,” said Catherine Powell, Global Head of Hosting at Airbnb in a statement. “We are so pleased to launch the Southwest Georgia Agri-Tourism Trail with Shirley and the New Communities Land Trust, not only to introduce these families to hosting, but also the global Airbnb community to the past, present and future of Black farming.”
Through this initiative, travelers will get the chance to experience the culture of Southwest Georgia as well as gain insight to the history and ever-present needs of Black farming communities. It also gives farmers the chance to tap into the economic opportunities in local tourism by hosting and creating awareness about the work they do. This is especially relevant now as the rise of remote working has created new opportunities for hosts living in rural communities, such as farmers.
Some activities you’ll enjoy as an Airbnb guest on the trail include a Civil Rights tour, “Taste of the South” food tour, and the chance to pick fresh food you’ll eat straight from the farm. Guests will also hear stories of four generations of farming history.
The Southwest Georgia Agri-Tourism Trail is led by co-founder of The New Communities Land Trust and USDA Equity Commissioner Shirley Sherron. The organization was founded during the Civil Rights Movement to support Black farmers who collectively own over 6,000 acres of farmland. The trust educates them on how to build generational wealth by teaching members sustainable farming and agribusiness practices. The organization’s headquarters are located in Resora, a former plantation near Albany originally owned by one of the largest slaveholding estates in Georgia.
Sherron spoke about The New Communities Land Trust’s vision for Black farmers and what she hopes for the future.
“When New Communities acquired Resora over a decade ago, we envisioned it as a place where we could farm the land, nurture the minds of people and empower our community,” she said. “I look forward to the possibilities that this new partnership will bring to our members, the rich stories that will continue to be passed on through guests, and the type of relaxation and restoration that only being in nature can provide.”
Ready to book and experience the Southwest Georgia Agri-tourism Trail? Accommodation starts at $175/night and you can book activities on the site too.