Members of this panel will address the continued racism and other abuses suffered by many Black farmers in rural America to this day. Lawrence Lucas, President Emeritus of The Coalition and Representative of the Justice for Black Farmers Group, will present a dynamic discussion regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture, known to many in Washington and beyond as the "The Last Plantation." Major issues addressed with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack are: • The historical mistreatment of minority farmers and systemic factors that allow this to be an ongoing problem
• The institutional, organizational structure that allows for a devolution of responsibility such that an absence of accountability exists
• The failures of the County Committee system in that people vote their prejudices such that few, if any, minority farmers and ranchers are found on these committees, which wield such power at the local level
Presented by the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees
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