July 28, 2010

A look at some numbers - Farmers and the USDA

Not just any farmers - African American Farmers. From Zombie:
Pigford v. Glickman: 86,000 claims from 39,697 total farmers?
Iím confused.

If there are only 39,697 African-American farmers grand total in the entire country, then how can over 86,000 of them claim discrimination at the hands of the USDA? Where did the other 46,303 come from?

Now, if youíre confused over what the heck Iím even talking about, letís go back to the beginning of the story:

Pigford v. Glickman

In 1997, 400 African-American farmers sued the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that they had been unfairly denied USDA loans due to racial discrimination during the period 1983 to 1997. The farmers won the case, known as Pigford v. Glickman, and in 1999 the government agreed to pay $50,000 each to any farmer who had been wrongly denied an agricultural loan. By then it had grown into a class action case, and any black farmer who had filed a complaint between 1983 and 1997 would be given at least $50,000 ó not limited to the original 400 plaintiffs. It was estimated at that time that there might be as many as 2,000 beneficiaries granted $50,000 each.

According to the summary of the case linked above...
Zombie then goes to show the numbers -- we are talking about $760 Million in the first round and then a new round announced in January of $1.25 Billion. And of course, Shirley Sherrod is right there in the thick of things:
The U.S. Senate and Shirley Sherrod
Which brings us up to today, when two current events suddenly thrust this otherwise little-known case into the spotlight. First, the Senate stripped funding for the settlement out of an unrelated war appropriations bill, as they had done several times in the past. Second, it was revealed today that ďA farm collective founded by Shirley Sherrod and her husband that was forced out of business by the discriminatory practices received a $13 million settlement as part of Pigford last year, just before she was hired by the USDA
If this isn't bad enough, Zombie continues:
What I want to know is: How can there be 86,000 legitimate claimants?

The Census pinpoints the precise number of African-American farmers

I ask this question because it didnít take me very long to find the latest census statistics released by the Department of Agriculture, which can be found linked to from this official USDA page. There, you will find this direct link to a text version of the Census report, and this recommended pdf version.

In the pdf version of the governmentís official 2007 Agricultural Census, Table 53 on page 646 shows that there are exactly 39,697 African-American farmers grand total in the entire nation.
Zombie then shows the document in question and adds the comment:
A scan through earlier census reports shows that this number has remained fairly constant over time, which is to be expected, as farming tends to be a long-term lifestyle rather than a ďjobĒ that one gets and then quickly abandons.
Sherrod should have kept quiet when the race-baiting speech she made to the NAACP became public. It will be interesting to see how much coverage this gets from the liberal media... Posted by DaveH at July 28, 2010 10:29 AM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?