John Boyd Jr. is Making Sure Black Farmers Achieve Nationwide Recognition 

John Boyd Jr. is Making Sure Black Farmers Achieve Nationwide Recognition 

February 16, 2022 0

John Wesley Boyd Jr. is a Baskerville, Virginia farmer, civil rights activist and the founder of the National Black Farmers Association. Founded in 1997, The National Black Farmers Association is a nonprofit civil rights organization that advocates for social, political and economic justice for African-American farmers. Their mission is to “empower the black family farm enterprise” and reconnect African-Americans with farming. Within the organization, Boyd’s involved in everything from organizing protests to creating programs that help small-scale farmers access affordable loans. 

John Boyd Jr., with his father, John Boyd Sr.

Fighting for rights within the organization, the NBFA has helped more than 5,000 black farmers file USDA discrimination complaints since 1997 – far more than any other organization in the United States. The NBFA later became the nation’s largest and most influential voice for 15,000 African-American farmers and their families with chapters across 36 states and five foreign countries.

In addition to his previous successes, Boyd was also involved in a landmark legal settlement in favor of black farmers who claimed they were discriminated against when seeking farm loans from both private lenders and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. The settlement included $1.25 billion to be paid out by the federal government to the farmers and their heirs but, as with all other claims, those dollars are not guaranteed to go directly to those who may be eligible for them. The federal government has been accused of dragging its feet – and intentionally so – when it comes to delivering checks to black farmers affected by the discrimination.

Due to Boyd’s leadership, creation of the National Black Farmers Association and his work to fight for fair treatment of black farmers in America, he was elected to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2005. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him to chairman of the commission during his second term and he has won the United Nations Millennium Medal for Peace and Reconciliation in Africa award. Boyd was inducted into the Agricultural Hall of Fame at the museum of Virginia in 2014.

He is still fighting for relief for Black Farmers today but also works as a counselor and advocate in Washington D.C., working on behalf of civil rights throughout the United States. He is making sure black farmers nationwide achieve the recognition they deserve.

BMI Staff
BMI Staff