Family, I bet you’ve never met a Black female beekeeper. As Black Entrepreneurs we can find ourselves in industries that we don’t traditionally occupy and yet we flourish. Judith shares how she has been successful in doing so all while taking care of her community and herself.
Judith’s love of agriculture began at six years old. As a little girl, she always wanted a little red tractor. She wasn’t raised on a farm but our family had hogs, a small cotton field beside our home. As a teenager, she worked with family members on the farm priming tobacco. On her journey in life, she continued to come back to agriculture, living on the land.
In 2003, she began to work for a nonprofit that provided resources for minority farmers and landowners. She worked as the project manager helping farmers get their produce in markets. She educated youth on agriculture-related careers and to create school gardens. While working with the nonprofit she noticed they had a beehive. She inquired about how bees make honey. She attended beekeeping school and continue to learn about bees from her mentor John Alston. She fell in love with bees and agriculture.
As she continues to grow in her business, Hampton Roads Honey, she shares her love for bees and agriculture with schools, networking groups, and businesses in the form of honey products, agri-related workshops, and online classes. Her goal is to bring FUN BACK INTO AGRICULTURE.
Community Folklife Documentation Institute 2009: The Oxendines Documentary
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