Mr. Junior is a Founder and General Manager of SouthEast Michigan Producers Association, or SEMPA. The organization was established to assist small rural African American/Underserved producers outside of Detroit in collaborating to build their capacities and provide fresh produce in the food insecure areas in the City. The group began with seven (7) farmers, with the potential of incorporating 25 farms with over 1,000 acres in the Detroit region. SEMPA coordinates training, marketing, and processes necessary to develop a local food system.
As the Economic Development Official in Royal Oak Charter Township, Michigan, Cary has championed issues to empower the most vulnerable population and founded the Royal Town Farmer’s Market to promote healthy eating and entrepreneurship through vending. Through these efforts he investigated produce sources for the farmer’s market and discovered the needs of the rural farmers. This led his desire to serve as a Food Hub Consultant with the Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems to research the development of food hubs throughout the state. In addition, he serves as Council member of the Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) – an organization established to support underserved farmers in Michigan.
Cary has been actively promoting SEMPA’s efforts around the country through presentations at food and farming conferences. His objective is to bring awareness to the obtaining food sovereignty to our most vulnerable populations with local food systems. He holds degrees from Morehouse College (BS), The University of Michigan (MSE), and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business (Exec Ed).