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Farming While Black

June 21, 2022

Earlier this year Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilscak announced, “USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] acknowledges we have not done enough to provide all farmers and ranchers an equal chance of success and prosperity, and we are striving to change that.” Actions being initiated are in response to a long history of discrimination against minority farmers. The department’s discriminatory practices factored into 90 percent of Black farmers losing the 14 million acres of land they once owned in the 20th century. Today Black farmers make up only 1.4 percent of all US farmers, down from 14 percent in the 1920s, according to the Census Bureau.