LIBERTY, N.C. (WGHP) — In the town of Liberty, Clarenda Stanley has found her own plot of freedom.
“It’s peace. It’s my little nugget of peace,” she said.
That nugget of peace sits on 14.84 acres of land.
Stanley, also known as “Farmer Cee,” is the CEO of Green Heffa Farms: a farm and tea company.
In 2019, Stanley, who has a background in principal gifts fundraising in the environmental sector, shifted her career focus toward farming.
“I was going through a period where a lot was going on. I was dealing with a tremendous amount of professional stress. I was ending a bad relationship, dissolving a marriage and I started to have issues with anxiety,” she said.
She began researching different medicinal herbs and plants that might be able to help.
“I found some things that actually worked.,” she said.
As CEO, Stanley is in charge of growing high-quality crops and producing the company’s signature teas and steams.
As a Black woman farmer, Stanley is part of an incredibly small group.
According to the most recent United States Census of Agriculture, there are approximately 3.4 million farmers in the US, 1.2 million are women and 13,002 are Black women.
Stanley, a native of rural Alabama, is paying her knowledge forward by helping other women, mostly Black, create financially and environmentally sustainable farming businesses.
“I didn’t set out to be part of a movement. It kind of just came with the territory,” Stanley said.
Stanley is working with corporate entities that have expressed an interest in creating more inclusive supply chains.
She also teaches at workshops and offers digital courses.