Showing posts with label Black Farmers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Black Farmers. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

National Black Farmers Association Statement on removal of Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color from Inflation Reduction Act

John Boyd, Founder an President, National Black Farmers Association released the following statement on the removal of Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color from Inflation Reduction Act:

After fighting for debt relief for over 3 decades, Boyd was elated when the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color was passed and signed into law by President Joe Biden last year in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Boyd met with Biden during the SC primaries to discuss the plight of Black Farmers and it was agreed upon that Biden would address Black Farmer issues. Again, last July (2021), Biden reaffirmed to Boyd he would have a face time meeting with him to discuss the ongoing struggles and delay of America’s Black Farmers getting the long sought-after debt relief.

What could be worse than having another President to overturn legislation you enacted to help Black and other Farmers of Color during a pandemic; repealing your own legislation to take it away while they are being served foreclosure notices in a recession with the highest record of input costs in 40 years while sending hundreds of millions in aid to Ukraine farmers.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Section 22008 repeals the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Section 1005 which provided Black, Native and other Farmers of Color debt relief.

“I’m very, very disappointed in this legislative action,” he said in response to reading the final bill passed by the Senate. “I’m prepared to fight for debt relief for Black, Native American and other farmers of color all the way to the Supreme Court. I’m not going to stop fighting this.”

“Discrimination at USDA against Black Farmers was rampant and severe. Section 1005 Loan Repayment program was a necessary step towards fixing those harms. To acknowledge and correct racism is not unconstitutional or racist.”>

Sunday, January 30, 2022

National Black Farmers Association calls out PepsiCo for failure to keep agreement

John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA), is calling out Pepsico after a year and half of all talk and no contract following a verbal commitment to Black farmers.

NBFA raised concerns over the gargantuan company's failure to contract with members of the NBFA to provide agricultural products that form the foundation of their firm's processes. Only White farmers have been afforded the opportunity to share in PepsiCo's enormous profits. It prefers the superficial responses to public opinion such as changing the brand image of its stereotyped figure Aunt Jemima. PepsiCo immediately reached out to the NBFA on June 19th 2020 in the face of such controversy.

However, as PepsiCo indicated they wanted to do business with NBFA members, the company insisted that our growers share personal information through our national data base. A year and a half later, when NBFA growers met all the required elements for a potato delivery contract, the company's executives apparently had lost interest in keeping its part of the bargain.

In an appalling stunt, PepsiCo executives recently notified the President of the NBFA that it would not be moving forward with any contracts for NBFA members.

"PepsiCo had decided to "move in a new direction" that would not include NBFA black farmer members, we were told.

Our outrage at this kind of bullying discrimination is not just about hurt feelings. Our livelihood and financial stability is at stake when we encounter such blatantly low-level business practices. Some black famers have actually lost their farms amid this unethical and inhumane treatment. The NBFA is seeking legal counsel regarding PepsiCo's verbal commitment for a potato contract.

Boyd is calling on PepsiCo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ramon Laguarta to meet with NBFA leaders and respond to the hardship and realities his company's latest recent discriminatory act has caused."

Thursday, March 11, 2021

'Graham needs to go back to church': Jim Clyburn reacts to Lindsey Graham's reparations comment

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) reacts to Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) comments that the billions of dollars in aid to Black farmers in the Covid-19 relief bill are reparations.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

The COVID-19 relief bill includes $5 billion in aid for farmers of color

For over a century, Black farmers faced discrimination from the US Department of Agriculture and were largely excluded from federal loans and farm improvement initiatives.

In an effort led by Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that passed on Saturday included Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act which is a $5 billion provision that will forgive debts for Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and other farmers of color, to enable reforms that will assist farmers with building generational wealth.

Warnock's measure includes references to several other issues that are a priority for the Black agricultural community, such as heir’s property, access to the legal system, and better support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The goal of the measure is also to help instill generational wealth into Black farming families.

Warnock, who is the first Black senator to serve from Georgia, told Rolling Stone magazine that this federal assistance “will not only help farmers of color, but will also lift up the economies of our rural communities working to recover from the economic turndown.”

“We are one more important step closer to bringing emergency debt relief to Black, Native American and other Farmers of Color in this country,” John Boyd Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association, said in a statement. “Generations of discriminatory behavior by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has contributed to significant economic differences between white farmers and farmers of color that directly impact their access to credit. Sec. 1005 and Sec. 1006 of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will help address the ongoing effects of discrimination by reducing the risk of foreclosure and increasing access to credit.”

Among its many facets, the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act directs the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack to “pay to each lender of farm loans guaranteed by the Secretary an amount equal to the principal and interest outstanding as of the date of enactment of this Act on all farm loans held by the lender, the borrowers of which are socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, such that the borrowers shall be relieved of the obligation to repay the principal and interest due on those guaranteed farm loans.”

Saturday, August 03, 2019

USDA Gave Almost 100 Percent Of Farm Bailout To White Farmers

Last July, the Trump administration announced a major new subsidy program designed to help farmers weather America’s ongoing trade war with China. That initiative—dubbed the Market Facilitation Program (MFP)—has become the single largest source of subsidies for farmers.

While many writers have documented the struggles of farmers affected by the trade war, few have scrutinized the distributional effects of the MFP. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has documented that the program has disproportionately helped wealthy landowners and a recent analysis by Donald Carr, a senior advisor for EWG, argues that the MFP has deepened the disadvantages of black and minority farmers.

Data obtained from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request showed that the MFP has almost exclusively benefitted white men and their families, who appear to be disproportionately upper middle-class or wealthy. These payments further entrench already drastic inequalities in agriculture, along racial, ethnic, gender, and class lines.

Similar to other USDA subsidies, the MFP has overwhelmingly favored white and male producers. We recently received data from a FOIA request that show the department has funneled more than 99 percent of bailout funds to white operators.

As of today, USDA has distributed more than $8.5 billion to farm operations through the MFP. Of the approximately $8 billion distributed to operations whose owners’ race could be identified, 99.5 percent went to white business owners. Of the more than $6.8 billion distributed to operations in which the owners’ gender could be identified, more than 91 percent went to male business owners. “White farm operators” here includes white Hispanics, but they only account for about 0.1 percent of the total. In other words, non-Hispanic white operators received 99.4 percent of all MFP payments.

The racial disparities are just as stark in states with sizable non-white farmer populations. In Mississippi, for example, where 38 percent of the population is black and 14 percent of farms have a black principal operator, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, only 1.4 percent of the $200 million distributed to farmers through the MFP went to black operators.

Not only did almost all of the funds go to white operators, but an overwhelming share of the funds appear to have gone to upper-middle class and wealthy families. The average family that produces soybeans has a much higher income—and a lot more wealth—than the average family in the U.S. But a disproportionate share of MFP money has been paid out to families operating large-scale farms, who have even more wealth.

These disparities are the result of historical and recent discrimination. The federal government played a role in withholding farmland from, and dispossessing, farmers of color, especially black and Native American ones. And as we documented in a recent article, USDA has done little to address its atrocious civil rights record. The MFP continues to exacerbate these racial inequalities today.

[SOURCE: FARMBILLLAW.ORG]