The Black Texas Farmers were finally on the right track to get federal aid. The state agriculture commissioner now wants to stop that.
The state says giving aid to only black farmers is unconstitutional, excluding other farmers from the same opportunities, but history professor Dr Jerry Jones has issued a statement explaining why black farmers might have need the grant.
Jones said, “Black farmers had the short end of federal policy regarding agriculture. So not only did the policies not favor them, but there was real deliberate discrimination at the state and local levels.
Joe Collard with Joe Collard Fresh Market and Crooked Fork Cattle, Mart Texas is a black farmer in the central Texas area, in response to the way black farmers are treated by the USDA, he said “I’m mad like hell because as a young man who served this country and to come home and serve and be treated like that.
Census data reveals that the number of black farmers in the United States fell by more than 90% between 1920 and 1969. The remaining farmers struggled to obtain USDA loans to operate farms.
Collard said: “They say it discriminates against white farmers, excuse me, white women farmers, but hey, they can go get a loan, they don’t have to jump through hoops, if they say what they need, that’s what they get. When we tell them what we need…we get less than that.
Ronnie Russell, President of the Black Chamber of Commerce, added: “You have your hub, you have your minority business enterprise, women’s business enterprise, so why wouldn’t having a grant for black farmers not be acceptable?
Russell thought black farmers deserved extra help to level the playing field.
42% of black farmers were rejected for direct USDA loans in 2021, more than any other demographic. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller steps in to challenge the possibility of federal aid to farmers. He believes that a course like this will only lead to disunity and discord.