Black People : 10th National Land Loss Summit

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  1. OldSoul

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    10th National Land Loss Summit February 15-17, 2008
    Tillery Community Center & Franklinton Center at Bricks, North Carolina

    Tillery, NC, USA - The 10th National Black Land Loss Summit is being held in the historic communities of Tillery (A New Deal Resettlement Community) Tillery, NC, and at the Historic Franklinton Center at Bricks, Whitakers, North Carolina, beginning Friday afternoon, February 15, and concluding at 12 Noon on Sunday, February 17, 2008. This year's theme, "10 Years After Pigford: Moving Forward" will bring workable solutions for farmers as the USDA has made changes, new alternatives for energy are available and the timely issue of increased Black land loss is being confronted head on.
    Census of Agriculture Day will be held each day as representatives from the National Agriculture Statistical Service ~ USDA will be on hand to help producers complete the census forms. This is most important as minority farm producers have historically been under counted in the process to develop farm programs.
    Representatives will be on hand Friday afternoon and most of the day on Saturday. USDA Departments will also have on hand on Saturday, February 16, 2008, state representatives for FSA (Farm Service Agency), NRCS (Natural Resources and Conservation Service) and RD (Rural Development).
    Other major activities included a Research Presentation Session facilitated by Spencer D. Wood, PhD, Kansas State University, with Beth Velde, faculty and students from East Carolina University; Dania Davey, Skadden Fellowship Recipient, University of Virginia Law School; Kansas State University, University of Virginia and Juan Marinez of Michigan State University will discuss issues relevant to Black farmers and share a special presentation on Health Issues related to farming.
    A major focal point of the Summit will be the Saturday afternoon session in which a USDA panel discussion will present and help lead the dialogue toward strategy to save the few remaining Black farmers in the country. We must confront the issues that continue to deprive Black farmers from making a living and surviving 10 Years After Pigford.
    Speakers for Part I will be Sherie Hinton Henry, USDA Associate Asst. Secretary for Civil Rights; Scott Mexic, Director External Affairs, OASCR; Michael Watts, Acting Director, Adjudication and Compliance, OASCR.
    Speakers for Part II will be Attorney Alva Y. Waller, Pigford Class Monitors Office, MN; Attorney John Pollock, Heirs Property Retention Coalition, AL; Robert Wynn, Land Rich, WI; Savi Horne, NC and Lloyd Wright, MD addressing 2007 Farm Bill; finally Dawn Batiste and Jeff Jandura The Business Center at Land Loss Prevention Project, Durham, NC.
    Two areas that have been overlooked where Black farmers are concerned are the psychological impact of land loss which will be addressed by Waymon Hinson, Abilene University, TX; and the struggle of socially disadvantaged farmers by ethnic minorities will be addressed by Lorette Picciano, Rural Coalition, Washington, DC.
    Presentations on alternative energies will given by Phillip Barker, a north Carolina farmer who is using recycled cooking oil as a means of cutting gas expenses; and Paul Reeves from One World Energy, Boston, MA will address how wind energy can help diversify small farms.
    During the Awards Luncheon, the “A Man Called Matthew Award� will be presented to pay tribute to an outstanding individual who support community-based economic development through African American land retention, family farm sustainability, and the development of youth entrepreneurial leadership. The award is given by CCT in recognition of Matthew Grant, a veteran farmer and entrepreneur coming out of the New Deal Tillery Resetllement Farm, and a founder of CCT.
    According to Gary R. Grant, President of the Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association, This is one of the most exciting Summits we have had to date. We are hopeful for atonement and reconciliation among the community, Black farmers and the USDA, which has been seen as basically the enemy. It is time for healing and to be able to move on in a positive direction to ensure the survivability of Black farmers across this county.

    Sponsors: the National Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association (BFAA), the Concerned Citizens of Tillery, (CCT), the National Land Loss Fund; the Conservation Fund-Chapel Hill, NC; the Land Loss Prevention Project of Durham, NC, and Muhammad Farms, Brownwood GA, One World Energy, Boston, MA, The Conservation Fund Resourceful Communities Program, Cahpel Hill, NC, USDA - office of Asst. Sec. for Civil Rights, Washington, DC ON THE CONSENT DECREE AND THE PIGFORD CLASS ACTION The 1998 Consent Decree was suppose to award Black farmers an estimated $2.4 Billion. As of July 9, 2003, only 13,110 claims have been paid of the 21,591 accepted. The settlement awarded most farmers $50,000 for their loss of income, loss of land, pain and suffering. Other Black farmers who had stronger evidence of prolonged discrimination were to receive larger settlements.
    Many Black farmers are like Gary Grants parents, the late Matthew and Florenza Moore Grant, who were farmers and had the oldest discrimination complaint on file with the USDA and the U.S. Justice Department, and have yet to be compensated. Even though the Grants had a signed settlement agreement with the USDA in 1998, they never received payment from the government. "My family and I are outraged and extremely dismayed that the USDA never paid my parents for 30 years of sabotage and blatant disregard for their constitutional rights. We continue to fight this battle now even though both of my parents are no longer with us," Grant stated.

    For more information on the Land Loss Summit, or the USDA Consent Decree contact:
    BLACK FARMERS & AGRICULTURALISTS ASSOCIATION & THE LAND LOSS FUND
    P.O. Box 61 Tillery, NC 27887
    Ph. 252-826-2800 Fax: (252) 826-3244
    www.bfaa-us.org e-mail: [email protected]
     
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