Is presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) attack on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) settlement with African American farmers racist? Bachmann is coming under increasing fire for characterizing a settlement to black farmers who were discriminated against as mass “fraud.” For years, black farmers alleged that they were being denied USDA farm loans or that they were forced to wait longer for loan approval than other non-minority farmers. Some contended that they endured foreclosure and financial ruin as a direct result. Following a class action lawsuit that was initiated back in 1997 – the so-called Pigford Cases – a U.S. Court has established that between 1983 and 1997 the USDA discriminated against black farmers who applied for farm loans and other assistance on the basis of their race, and that the USDA also failed subsequently to investigate or properly respond to complaints. Following this unequivocal ruling you would think that all efforts would now turn to addressing this injustice as swiftly as possible for the thousands of individuals and families who were wronged.
Come see Animal Welfare Approved staff members Beth, Brigid and Emily at the annual Farm Aid concert, featuring Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. Farm Aid has raised awareness about farm preservation since the first concert in 1985.
One of Farm Aid’s core goals is “Growing the Good Food Movement,” which it defines as: “growing the number of Americans reaching for and demanding family farm-identified, local, organic or humanely-raised food.” We couldn’t agree more.
If you are in the St. Louis area this weekend, come say hello! You can find us at the following events:
- Farm Meets Fork Dinner
- HomeGrown Urban Country Fair
- Farm Aid Eve at Blueberry Hill (BBQ fundraiser featuring Animal Welfare Approved grassfed burgers from American Grass Fed Beef and Animal Welfare Approved pork from Fudge Family Farms)
- A Farmer/Urban Connection (public briefing)
- The Farmyard at the Homegrown Village
Also in the lineup are Wilco, Jason Mraz, Gretchen Wilson, Jamey Johnson, Tim Reynolds and more. Visit www.FarmAid.org for a complete line-up, details on how to listen to the concert online, and info on this great organization.
Photo courtesy of Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve Inc. 2008.