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

Friday, July 05, 2024

National Black Farmers Association Calls for Immediate Resignation of Tractor Supply President

The National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) is calling for the immediate resignation of Tractor Supply President Hal Lawton following the company's recent decision to cut diversity-focused positions and withdraw its carbon-emissions goals in response to right-wing pressure.

Tractor Supply, one of the country's largest farm-supply retailers, announced on Thursday (June 27, 2024) that it would refocus on its "85-year-old culture" and step away from "political agendas." This decision has been met with outrage from the NBFA, a non-profit organization that represents tens of thousands of African American farmers and their families nationwide.

According to Tractor Supply's statement, this decision does not change the company's commitment to its customers and team members, and providing a welcoming and respectful environment. However, NBFA President John Boyd, a shareholder and customer of Tractor Supply, believes otherwise.

"Tractor Supply has shown with its broken promises that it has little respect for black farmers," said Boyd. "As President of the NBFA, I am appalled by this decision, which is reflective of the ongoing racial tension and division in America. This affects our 130,000 members, many of whom regularly shop at Tractor Supply. Having repeatedly attempted to discuss our concerns with Mr. Hal Lawton, I am now calling for his immediate resignation."

Last year, Tractor Supply celebrated its recognition for pursuing workplace diversity. In its February annual report, the company stated its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and announced new initiatives aimed at achieving these goals. However, the recent decision to roll back these initiatives has sparked outrage and disappointment among black farmers and their supporters.

"Diversity and inclusion play a key role in moving our business forward," Tractor Supply said in its annual report. "Our workforce is approximately 51% male and 49% female, and racial and ethnic minorities comprise about 18% of our workforce."

In addition to diversity, Tractor Supply also pledged to cut its carbon footprint by 20% by 2025 and by 50% by 2030, and to achieve net-zero emissions across all operations by 2040. These commitments, along with the company's recognition for its pursuit of diversity, gave hope to many farmers, especially those from underrepresented communities.

But as Boyd pointed out, Tractor Supply continues to participate in predominantly white farm shows and events while snubbing events and opportunities for black farmers. The company has never displayed a booth or sponsored an event or training opportunity for black farmers, denying them the respect and dignity they deserve. This behavior is reflective of the widespread disdain that still exists in the agricultural industries towards people of color.

Many sectors of American society have taken action to address the shameful racial disparities that plague people of color. However, Tractor Supply has not followed suit. As an association that represents a substantial customer base for Tractor Supply, the NBFA believes its members deserve the same consideration as other agricultural associations and non-profits, who enjoy discounts on Tractor Supply purchases and program support.

"We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, not as a nuisance," said Boyd.

For more information on this matter, please contact NBFA President John Boyd at Johnwesleyboydjr@gmail.com or 434-210-2286.

The NBFA is a non-profit organization that represents African American farmers and their families in the United States. Its education and advocacy efforts focus on civil rights, land retention, access to loans, education and agricultural training, and rural economic development for black and other small farmers.

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."