USDA, Black Farmers Reach Settlement

Government to pay $1.25 billion in restitution

Three years ago approximately 2.20 million farms operated in the U.S., according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture. Of that number, 32,938, or approximately 1.5% of all farms, were operated by African-Americans.

Boyd would have preferred a higher settlement amount, but agreed to the deal to allow the process to move forward because so many of the prospective claimants are dying, aging, or in danger of losing their properties.

“These farmers simply cannot and should not have to wait any longer — Congress must follow the Administration’s lead and act now,” Boyd said.

Earlier this week at a protest rally that his organization held in front of USDA headquarters, Boyd estimated that perhaps only 50% of the claims would be compensated and said that heirs will file some of those claims.

Pointing to a few of the aging farmers who’d traveled to Washington from places like Alabama and Mississippi, sleeping in their cars along the way and borrowing gas money for the return trip home, he said, “They’re old. There’s a lot of age and pain in the faces of these farmers. The longer we wait, the more people we’re going to lose in this process.”

Resources:
Timeline of black farmers’ lawsuit

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