The manipulation of the Shirley Sherrod video for partisan gain was not just an egregious injustice to Shirley Sherrod, it was an egregious injustice to all of America’s black farmers, to elderly black farmers in particular, to Dr. John Boyd, Jr. and the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA), and to the employees of the USDA and other governmental organizations who have worked to make amends for one of the most shameful periods in the history of American agriculture. Injustice is injustice wherever and whenever it occurs. Righting an injustice can be a long and thorny process, as Dr. Boyd, President of the NBFA, can attest. He has fought for years to get justice for black farmers who were victims of widespread, decades-long discrimination by the USDA. Finally triumphant, in 1999 and again in 2008, he won settlements from the government that will provide legions of now mostly elderly black farmers, victims of the blatant racism formerly displayed by the USDA, with the money they are rightfully owed. The Senate still won’t fund the 2008 settlement. The injustice continues. Animal Welfare Approved has long supported Dr. Boyd in his quest to see his fight brought to an end, especially since, as he often points out, the farmers for whom the settlement is intended are beginning to die. "I'm frustrated," Boyd said Thursday in an NPR interview. "I'm frustrated that I'm still begging for votes in the Senate for something that should have been done years ago.”
David and Melissa Wallace raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) and Certified Non-GMO by AGW pigs at Wallace Farms in Rose Hill, North Carolina. The farm consists of flat land, good for growing a wide variety of crops, and David farms 800 acres of grain and 80 acres of hay, in addition to managing his herd of pigs. “I was raised on a farm and have farmed all my life,” says David. “I enjoy the smell of fresh turned dirt and watching plants and animals grow.”
David raises Chester, Duroc and Berkshire pigs, with approximately 80 sows and 6 boars. The Chester, Duroc and Berkshire breeds are well-suited for outdoor management, and are also known for their exceptional meat quality. “These breeds produce good quality meat that do well on the grains we grow on our farm. It is a good combination,” says David.
Being raised outdoors on pasture or range, the pigs at Wallace Farms are free to root and forage as pigs naturally do. This high-welfare management is a fundamental component of AGW certification and is known to have environmental, nutritional and culinary benefits. “I feel the most important thing in growing these animals is to provide good, disease- and parasite-free pasture and good feed with a fresh water supply,” says David. “Keeping shelters with fresh bedding also helps the growth of the animals.”
David is a member of the North Carolina Natural Hog Growers Association, a cooperative of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW hog producers who sell to restaurants, retailers, and food processors throughout the region. David chose to pursue AGW certification so that he could sell his hogs through this cooperative. In the future, David hopes to continue to sell hogs through the North Carolina Natural Hog Growers Association. “I hope to continue farming and raising hogs the rest of my life,” says David. “I also hope to get my son involved in the operation when he gets old enough.”