Chris Newman

Farmer & Co-Founder, Sylvanaqua Farms

Chris Newman is a farmer, land protector, and an outspoken evangelist of ecological, economic, and social sustainability in food. He’s garnered both criticism and praise for advocating a moderate, pragmatic approach to sustainable food systems that recognizes the complementary roles of both ecological farming and technological innovation; frank discussions of the intersection of race and agriculture; and blunt, unsparing criticism of the “clean food” movement’s often-elitist values and aversion to self-reflection.

An enrolled member of the Choptico band of the Piscataway Indians, the former software engineer started farming when his wife insisted he abandon his tech career following a health scare. Today, Newman sells his pastured eggs, poultry and meats from his farm, Sylvanaqua, at five farmers markets, retail establishments, and restaurants.

Podcast Guest Appearances

Cropped Out: Land, Race and Climate

African-American farmers have been no strangers to land dispossession in the face of capitalism, based on extracting minerals and other resources out of the ground, and labor out of people. 

“At the same time that developers are working to steal black folks land, they are both contributing to racial inequality and contributing to environmental instability,” notes Andrew Kahrl, author of This Land Was Ours: African American Beaches from Jim Crow to the Sunbelt South.