Clarenda "Farmer Cee" Stanley is a fifth-generation farmer, originally from Annie Manie, Alabama. She did not set out in life to follow on her family's agrarian path. But in 2017, she found herself returning to her roots as the CEO of Green Heffa Farms (GHF), a medicinal plant and hemp farm in Liberty, NC. As one of the first black women to be licensed in North Carolina, she was selected as the 2019 Featured Farmer for Hemp History Week, the nation's largest grassroots campaign for the federal legalization of industrial hemp. She has been featured in more than 200 national and international publications, including April’s Oprah O Magazine, and is a well-sought after speaker at national conferences.
An award-winning fundraising and marketing professional, Cee is currently a senior principal gifts officer at The Nature Conservancy's World Office. She is the first black American to hold this title at the world's largest environmental organization. In this role, Cee manages a global portfolio of high net worth donors. She also recently assumed leadership for developing the organization's first philanthropic inclusion program, strategically helping the organization broaden its donor constituency to achieve its conservation goals. Previously Cee worked as VP for Advancement at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC, Director of Development and Communications for the Lucy Daniels Foundation and was a Major Gifts Officer at NC Central University.
Green Heffa Farms is one of very few black-owned farms in Chatham County and perhaps the only one growing hemp that is led by a black woman. Transitioning to organic, it will also be another rarity - a minority woman owned USDA certified organic farm. The farm is committed to best practices in regenerative agriculture. It seeks to create a learning lab where aspiring and current farmers can gain critical skills in boutique hemp and medicinal plant cultivation, production, and needed business skills. GHF hopes to increase the number of socially and ecologically conscious farmers, with a focus on underrepresented populations.
Cee has earned a bachelors in marketing from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a masters degree in education from Troy University. In 2016, she selected by her peers as the 2016 Association for Fundraising Professionals, Triangle Chapter Fundraiser of the Year and in 2017, received the C-Suite Award for Nonprofit Leadership. Cee has also earned the coveted Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation.