Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan appoints urban farming activist Tepfirah Rushdan as the city's first Director of Urban Agriculture.
Appointments Urban Farming

Tepfirah Rushdan Appointed as First Director of Urban Agriculture

Detroit’s local government has taken a significant stride in recognizing the essence of urban agriculture. In a symbolic move, Mayor Mike Duggan recently unveiled Tepfirah Rushdan as the inaugural Director of Urban Agriculture. Rooted deeply in the urban farming movement, Rushdan’s appointment confirms the city’s commitment to bolstering community farming and enhancing local food systems.

This pivotal initiative was influenced by several interactions between the Mayor and the urban agriculture fraternity revolving around his Land Tax Proposal. As a testament to the respect accorded to urban farmers, their land holdings have been granted immunity from the surge in land taxes. Mayor Duggan praised Rushdan, “The meteoric rise in demand for land in Detroit necessitated someone of Tepfirah’s caliber to support the prolific work of our urban agriculture community.”

Rushdan is no stranger to the urban farming community. As a longstanding advocate and resident of Detroit’s Greenacres vicinity, she previously functioned as the co-director of Keep Growing Detroit. This entity champions urban farming, providing educational guidance and distributing starter crops to invigorate local consumption of fruits and vegetables. Besides, her stellar record includes participation in The Detroit Food Policy Council and a stint as the Director of Urban Agriculture at The Greening of Detroit. Furthermore, her brainchild, The Black Farmer Land Fund, is pivotal in aiding Black urban farmers, ensuring they have the necessary resources to flourish. Throughout her illustrious career, Tepfirah has epitomized her devotion to the environment and community through various outreach programs and entrepreneurial ventures.

The unanimous decision to appoint Tepfirah as the Director of Urban Agriculture resonates with the city’s trust in her vision. Detroit now proudly stands alongside cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, DC, all of which have embraced urban agriculture at an administrative level. Gratitude poured in from Rushdan herself, who acknowledged the Mayor’s audacious initiative. “The inception of such a role exclusively for urban agriculture underscores the Mayor’s allegiance to urban farms and other land-associated endeavors,” she remarked. With the dawning of this new era in Detroit’s agricultural landscape, the community waits with bated breath for the positive transformation that Tepfirah and her team will bring. Her tenure, which commenced on September 5, is poised to amplify Detroit’s urban farming trajectory and solidify its stance as an agricultural forerunner.

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