Farm bill deserves support

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sometimes our elected officials get a bad rap. We question what exactly they are spending their time doing on the taxpayers’ dime.

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, told us of at least one positive piece of legislation that could potentially help thousands of black farmers across the country.

The re-authorization of the farm bill, passed in the House of Representatives by a 231-191 vote, opens the door for black farmers to have their day in court.

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The bill must still pass the U.S. Senate, and citizens are encouraged to contact U.S. Sens. Jeff Sessions (202-224-4124) and Richard Shelby


Nine out of 10 claims filed by black farmers for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture were being denied, Davis said.

“That showed me that the process wasn’t working. We’ve been working to see if we could make things better,” he said.

If it is passed by the Senate, the bill will re-open claims for 70,000 black farmers nationwide, he said.

But Alabama farmers were also told this was not a cure-all.

Dr. Walter Hill of Tuskegee University said it will take a cooperative effort between experts, professionals and farmers to help build a successful business.

The farm bill re-authorization deserves support from the U.S. Senate.