Dr. John Boyd isn’t just a family farm owner—he is a political pioneer for small farmers like himself across the nation. As the founder and president of the National Black Farmer’s Association, Boyd has been lobbying and litigating for black farmers since 1995.
After campaigning diligently for President-elect Barack Obama over the past several months, Boyd now finds himself under consideration for the new administration’s Secretary of Agriculture. Several articles, including the one below from the online site Grist have detailed the possibility of Boyd being appointed to the position. Tom Philpott reports:
“One name I’m intrigued by is John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmer’s Association. Boyd helped lead the fight to hold USDA accountable for its long history of stiffing black farmers; his nomination is being championed by the Congressional Black Caucus. Virginia-based Boyd himself runs a relatively small-scale farm; seems like his position as a USDA outsider might lead him to champion the interests of small farmers in an agency that’s long been beholden to large industrial operations.” Read more.
Aliya Sternstein of CQ Politics also reports on Boyd’s consideration for the position, reporting Boyd as saying:
“USDA needs a breath of fresh air. I think there can be improvement with farm lending, outreach and technical assistance to small and mid-scale producers…small producers really haven’t been a part of the American fabric at USDA under the Bush administration.”