FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 29, 2012

Contact:
Heather Gray - 404 765 0991

Black Farmer Lawsuit Against The USDA Progresses
"Network Of Black Farm Groups And Advocates" Expresses
Concern About Misinformation Circulating Around The South About The Lawsuit

Also: Information about upcoming workshop and rally for Black farmers

ATLANTA...On October 27, 2011, Judge Paul Friedman in the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC approved the "In Re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation Settlement"  (known to many as Pigford 2). It took approximately 20 years of struggle to reach this point....and this after study upon study and testimony in past decades demonstrating the egregious discrimination against Black farmers by the USDA.

We, the "Network of Black Farm Groups and Advocates" (see list below), are aware of the fact that in some states there are meetings being held suggesting, unfortunately, that it is still possible to get into this lawsuit. This has led to considerable misinformation circulating around the South about who is entitled to seek an award under the settlement.

WHO IS IN THE LAWSUIT

The fact is that in order to file a claim in the Pigford 2 lawsuit, a claimant must be able to show that they submitted a written request to participate in the Pigford 1 lawsuit between October 13, 1999 up to June 18, 2008 when the 2008 Farm Bill passed Congress.

Further, no one should have to pay money to be part of the Pigford lawsuit.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT FILLING OUT CLAIM FORMS

The lawsuit's claims process is progressing quickly. We are now in the midst of the 180 day period for claimants to file their claims. The end date is May 11, 2012. If you have questions about whether you are in the lawsuit please call EPIQ at 877 810 8110 and they will assist you with that information. (EPIQ is the administrator in the lawsuit.)  

To submit your claim, you also need to call EPIQ at 877 810 8110 to make an appointment with attorneys in your state. If you are a claimant, or have friends who are claimants, please call EPIQ now for an appointment if you have not already done so!!!!

To see the list of meetings in the various states, please go to the "In Re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation Settlement" website at www.blackfarmercase.com or go directly to this URL at the website -  https://www.blackfarmercase.com//Meetings.aspx to find the list of meetings.

UPCOMING EVENTS

March 3, 2012

There will be a workshop on March 3 for Pigford 2 claimants at the Ancient Africa, Enslavement and Civil War Museum located at 1410 Water Avenue, Selma, Alabama 36703.  It will begin at 12:30 pm. The Jubilee is a five-day event that will celebrate the 47th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the victories of the voting rights movement. 

There is no right of appeal, thus no room for error in filling out the claim form.  Farmers are encouraged to bring the persons helping them with their claims to the workshop.

• March 6, 2012

There will be a post march rally on March 6 to highlight the plight of black farmers will be held at the First Baptist Church in Selma, 709 Martin Luther King St Alabama during the Bridge Crossing Jubilee on Tuesday, March 6th from 6 to 8 p.m.


Please go to the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund’s website at www.federation.coop for information about upcoming workshops and events.


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Network of Black Farm Groups and Advocates

Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corporation
Contact: Calvin King (870) 734-1140
calvinrkingsr@yahoo.com

National Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association
Contact: Gary Grant (252) 826-3017
TILLERY@aol.com

Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund
Contact: Ralph Paige (404) 765-0991
ralphpaige@federation.coop

Land Loss Prevention Project
Contact: Savi Horne (800) 672-5839
savihorne@gmail.com

Mississippi Family Farmers Association
Contact: Eddie Carthan (662) 458-0983

Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project
Contact: Willard Tillman (405) 201-6624
wtillman2@cox.net

Rural Advancement Fund
Contact: Georgia Good (803) 378-9450
georgiagood_6@hotmail.com

Texas Landowners Association
Contact: Edward Cline (713) 306-7184
edwlewcli@sbcglobal.net

United Farmers, US
Contact: Hezakeiah Gibson

For additional information please contact:
Heather Gray, Director of Communications
Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund
404 765 0991
heathergray@federation.coop

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Note: The Federation/LAF, now in its 44th year,  assists Black family farmers across the South with farm management, debt restructuring, alternative crop suggestions, marketing expertise and a whole range of services to ensure family farm survivability. 

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