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UNC Sustainability Inaugural Distinguished Entrepreneurial Venture Award: Green Heffa Farms

Clarenda “Cee” Stanley, M. Ed., is grateful to the students behind the award.

“For a farming business to receive this award is groundbreaking. For it to be a farm started by a Black woman is history making.

Thank you to the students not only for voting for our farm but more importantly, on taking a stand for sustainability and understanding that environmental consciousness cannot exclude social justice. Each of you embody hope and transformation. May you continue to be bold in creating change.”

Green Heffa Farms is a Certified B-Corporation and is minority woman-owned. They are the only B-Corp farm that has a Black woman as CEO. The plants they grow, the teas and steams they make promote and strongly tie with African and African-American cultures. The owner, Cee, organizes the W.A.S.H. conference (We Are Still Here). The conference aims to connect Black and Indigenous farmers with one another.

Green Heffa Farms only uses organic agricultural practices. Their teas and steams are completely naturally plant-based. All their packaging meets B-Corp requirements, and they use mechanical tools to reduce fuel use. Their ecological agricultural practices focus on protecting soil health and maintaining crop yields, while increasing profitability. They also invite other farmers to their farm to learn about environmentally-friendly farming and how these types of practices can benefit the bottom line.

Their work is led by a set of principles they call the 4 Es: Economic empowerment, Equity, Environment and Education. The aim of these principles is to encourage other farmers and entrepreneurs to become socially conscious and sustainable. They share these principles through conferences, their website, interactions with other farmers and more. By practicing the 4Es and creating connections with other farmers, Green Heffa Farms has influenced a number of socially conscious farmers and entrepreneurs throughout North Carolina. They have been committed to expanding the agricultural industry to include under-represented farmers by creating a network that connects these farmers to sustainable agriculture and business resources. They have provided jobs to their local community of Liberty and have given back philanthropically into agricultural projects and programs. Green Heffa Farms has been featured in Oprah’s O Magazine and as the face of the groundbreaking Associated Press article on the 2018 Farm Bill, which landed them in more than 200 publications.

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