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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Black Farmers Protest Outside USDA in Washington, D.C.

The National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) marched on Washington, D.C. this week to challenge Congress to fund a court settlement compensating historically discriminated-against black farmers. The rally was held on Monday outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture amidst two feet of snow still engulfing the Nation's Capital.

NBFA Founder and President John Boyd said:

"We are here acting on a law that was enacted in 2008 by Congress. So this is already law and the black farmers are still waiting."
NBFA has organized demonstrations this month throughout historically black agricultural areas of the South, including Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Congress has yet to approve a budget that would pay for a 1999 class action settlement ordered by a federal judge. In 2008, lawmakers established a system to review claims of racial bias from more than 70,000 farmers who were denied various types of farm support by the USDA. But Congress has yet to approve the 2010 farm bill, in which President Barack Obama has proposed including more than a $1 billion to cover the compensation claims. (CNN, 2/15/10)

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