Farmer Marcus Carpenter Opens Minnesota’s First Black-Owned Freight Farm


April 10, 2024

The first Black-owned Freight Farm is opening in Hennepin County, Minnesota, helping to address food insecurity and inequality in agriculture in the rural area.

The Freight Farm will be led by farmer Marcus Carpenter and his organization, Route 1, a Minnesota-based resource for BIPOC emerging farmers. “Today is an exciting day,” Carpenter said to KARE 11 about the arrival of the Freight Farm. “We are getting our very first Freight Farm.”

Freight Farms is a Boston-based agriculture technology company and was the first to manufacture and sell “container farms,” or hydroponic farming systems that fit inside large freight containers. This provides farmers with a modern solution to grow produce in confined spaces.  Freight Farms supplies farmers worldwide with repurposed shipping containers, allowing them to grow food efficiently within a controlled environment, helping combat hunger and food insecurity one crop at a time.


“Not only does this freight farm give us the ability to grow over 200 pounds of fresh produce per week, but it also gives us the ability to bring in youth who may have not had an opportunity to experience agriculture,” Carpenter explained.

Carpenter and his company Route 1 focus on a multigenerational approach to farming and believe in this Freight Farm’s potential to be a positive change not just in Minnesota, but in the legacy of agriculture. The Freight Farm will create work for Black farmers in the area, who are greatly underrepresented in the agricultural sector, with food insecurity impacting Black communities at disproportionate rates.

“It gives us an opportunity to take good, clean, culturally relevant, nutritious food and place it right down in the middle of some of our food deserts in our low to medium-income areas,” Carpenter shared.


A semi-truck carefully journeyed the Freight Farm from Massachusetts to Medina, Minnesota on March 27 for Carpenter and Route 1 to begin this important work. With the support of the American Family (AmFam) Institute, Carpenter and his Freight Farm hope to bring much-needed change to the farming industry.

“We feel by supporting markets and Route 1, it’s an innovative business model that will equip farmers with the land and resources that everyone needs for a thriving farming operation. And so we’re hoping that we can support economic opportunities and tackle hunger,” Nyra Jordan, social impact investment director for AmFam Institute, said.

Cover photo: Farmer Marcus Carpenter Opens Minnesota’s First Black-Owned Freight Farm / Photo credit: Marcus Carpenter/Route 1


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