USDA pledges to address longstanding discrimination against Black farmers | Business News


“That has resulted in us having a pretty big gap in the way we’re able to service the customers we’re trying to serve,” Goldmon said. “So this whole issue around equity is geared toward addressing that gap.”

Although many farmers are glad to see that progress is being made toward addressing USDA discrimination, Stewart said it will take more than forming a committee to fix the generations of systemic racism and discrimination.

“The committee and all of these things are nice, but results are what really matter,” she said. “The equity part is important, but you need the right people handling it.”

“You can’t change that 1.4% without taking care of the farmers that are already there,” said James, Stewart’s husband. “By lending that 1.4% more money to help them grow, that’s a great thing, but it doesn’t change that 1.4% by lending money to the same people.”

James sees their ranch as an opportunity for their family to continue farming for generations to come. He said by the time their kids are 18, they’ll be prepared to take it over and continue to help it expand.

“The education is right here for our children; they’ve got blood, sweat and tears in it,” James Stewart said. “They can start making their own decision, putting their input in it and putting their stamp on it, and they can just continue to grow it. Then when they have children, next thing you know, that’s three generations. As long as we continue to grow and build it, it’s going to make a change.”


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