**FILE** Black farmers are struggling to hold on to their land as a result of long-standing bias from the USDA against black farmers. (Courtesy photo)

The National Black Farmers Association says its boycott of John Deere is being countered by the farming machinery conglomerate setting up its own coalition to represent Black farmers — a move the association called offensive after what it says has been years of discrimination and inequitable treatment by the company.

John Boyd, president of the 116,000-member association, said John Deere is purposely trying to silence the NBFA’s attempt to draw attention to the company’s unfairness.

“Today’s announcement from the multibillion-dollar global behemoth John Deere that it will create a Black Farm Group is one of the most offensive and egregious corporate missteps I have ever witnessed,” Boyd said in a Sept. 17 press release, which also points out that that the company has declined to participate in the NBFA’s annual conference or display new equipment and parts as it does at other agricultural industry events.

In addition, after Black farmers purchase from Deere, the company responds slowly if at all to calls for service on its equipment and shuts down its tractors by computer connections if owners try to make repairs themselves, the association said in the release.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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