Guilford County has put a tremendous amount of effort in over the last year in an attempt to conduct more business with minority companies – and now the county is continuing to show support for minority vendors by hosting a Triad Black Farmer’s Market.

Minority Farmer’s Markets have been catching on across the state in recent years and now Guilford County is entering the fray.

While the prevalence of Minority Farmers Markets has  been growing in North Carolina in recent years, there’s an interesting question as to whether the markets are legal in light of the landmark decision in June of the US Supreme Court.  That case, which involved admissions practices at UNC-Chapel Hill and Harvard, turned the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment on its head.  In that 6-to-3 decision, the court determined that the “core purpose” of the amendment was “doing away with all governmentally imposed discrimination based on race.”  The case essentially put an end to race-based admissions policies “however well-intentioned and implemented in good faith.”  Future court cases may determine whether local government practices such as holding farmers markets specifically for minorities also violates the new legal precedent.

Regardless, this move continues the county’s strong effort to support minority enterprises.  In the past year the county wrapped up $300,000 for a study on how to be more inclusive in its purchasing practices, hired a new Guilford County Minority/Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Department director, nearly tripled the size of that department in one fell swoop, and spent a lot of money on new tracking software that breaks down the women and minority components of the county’s purchases of goods and services.

Continuing in that vein, on Sunday, Oct. 15 Guilford County government is hosting a Triad Black Farmer’s Market from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The Guilford County MWBE Department, the NC Cooperative Extension-Guilford County Center, East Greensboro Now, and the African American Faith-Based Leaders of Guilford County are coordinating the inaugural event.

It will take place at the Hayes-Taylor YMCA at 2630 E. Florida St. in Greensboro and feature African American and other minority farmers from across North Carolina selling fresh produce and meat.

The event will also feature live music from North Carolina musicians and food from local food trucks.

Guilford County MWBE Director Shaunne Thomas said this will be a fun way for people to get out and support minority farmers and vendors from around the state.

“We are excited to showcase our state’s Black and minority-owned farmers in the inaugural Black Farmer’s Market Event,” she said. “This event supports our local economy and brings North Carolina growers, artists, and business owners here to Guilford County for great food, fun, and festivities for everyone to enjoy while also supporting minority-owned businesses and creatives.”