The president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturists Association spoke at a Columbia church on Friday regarding a recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision in their favor. The suit was in reference to a racial discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
President Thomas Burrell explained the class action lawsuit claims black farmers were sold fake soybean seeds at John The Baptist Church.
“We want to let these individuals hear that they know that the United States Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the land, has ruled and denied the department of agriculture an opportunity from allowing these individuals to participate in a lawful proceeding," Burrell said. “They are here today because now they can participate in an opportunity to be a part of a class action lawsuit that they were denied from in 1999 and 2012.”
The association holds meetings throughout the U.S., and particularly Mississippi because the state has more black farmers per capita than any other state.
”By being a member of the association, that gives them a better chance to answer the questions that the judges are asking," Burrell said. "Most of these individuals got denied because they failed to either understand or answer the questions that were required for them to get paid."
Farmers that think they may be affected by the class action suit can contact the association for assistance.
“They can call this association in Memphis, Tennessee, at 901-522-8880 and we have a staff of learned individuals there will help walk them through the process," Burrell said.
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