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The Last American Plantation
$240 Raised
0% of $50k goal
8 contributors
0 days left
Ended Dec 14, 2013

United States Department of Agriculture

USDA Headquarters

The United States Department of Agriculture serves as a federal government entity that is responsible for the development and execution of government policies on farming, agriculture, forestry and food.  

The USDA vision statement states: "to expand economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production sustainability that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and the preserve and conserve our nation's natural resources through restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands."  

The Last Plantation

The Last American Plantation will be a powerful non-fiction narrative piece investigating and exposing the history of discriminating practices of the USDA and the impact it has had on minority farmers and the USDA employees and their families that has suffered because of it over the years.  The following facts and figures are topics that we will be discussing with experts, national journalists who has previously covered the topics and the people that have personally endured the accounts of discrimination either as a farmer and/or as an employee of the USDA.  

The Struggles of Minority Farmers

African-American Farmers Protesting in front Atlanta's CNN Center

  • In the article, “The Last Plantation’: Black Farmers Vs. USDA,” published on December 11, 1996 in the Washington Post by Michael A. Fletcher, he reported that, “financing is the lifeblood of farming, whose practitioners generally take out large loans, based on the next crop, to cover their considerable operating expenses. Farmers who cannot obtain financing face bankruptcy, and the USDA is the lender of last resort for those shut out of the private credit market.”
  • The Washington Post article goes on to state that, “between 1982 and 1992, the number of Black farmers in the United States dropped by 43 percent, from 33,250 to 18,816.”
  • During the Bush administration the USDA was accused of improperly mishandling over 13,000 cases on the grounds of discrimination. When the Obama administration took office a pledge was made to change how the general public perceives the USDA, and how they handle their programs for “ALL” farmers. President Obama tapped former Idaho governor, Tom Vilsack, to lead that initiative as the new Secretary of Agriculture to redevelop a new image and lead the new initiative of change. Vilsack then tapped, Dr. Joe Leonard, as the Assistant of Secretary of Civil Rights in the USDA’s office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights. Leonard’s job is to investigate matters of discrimination that has been reported to the USDA and determine if further actions is warranted or not. Leonard reported that 3,000 of the 13,000 had warranted further investigation.

The Struggles of Minority USDA Employees

Image taken from an USDA bathroomAn image taken from a bathroom of the USDA

  • Astonishing tales of employees writing racist remarks on the bathroom walls.
  • Long-time managers referring to employees as explicit terms.

The Final Call recently published an article, Black Farmers: 'Meet ME Halfway" with the following quotes: 

  • “USDA actively worked against the economic interests of Black farmers. The USDA’s loan agencies, such as the Farmer’s Home Administration (FHA), denied Black farmers ownership and operating loans, disaster relief and other aid.”
  • While Black people were fighting for their “civil rights,” the U.S. government was taking away their land and eliminating a whole industry.
  • Black farmers have been suffering at the hands of a deliberate plan by the U.S. government to force them out of farming and to feed Black people denatured and genetically modified foods to slow down the increase of the Black population. 
  • Many Black farmers have had discrimination complaints against the USDA going back over 30 years, yet all the government can talk about is $50,000, which to most Black farmers is an insult. 
  • We have had 14 years to observe the behavior of the USDA after the Pigford lawsuit, initiated in 1997, and the out-of-court settlement in 1999.  The very farmers who went to court to save their land have been and are being foreclosed on, while the public believes that the farmers have gotten paid. Not one employee of the USDA that discriminated against Black farmers has been fired
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Film Production Credits
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Estimated delivery Sep 2014
Name will appear in the special thanks section of the ending credits of the film, a designated section of the website, and the film's FB page.
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A PDF File of the article that inspired this film
  • 1 claimed
Estimated delivery Feb 2014
A PDF copy of Arts, Trade & Lifestyle's most popular article to date, and the original article that inspired this documentary,
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Private screening of film online.
  • 2 claimed
Estimated delivery Sep 2014
Receive a special invitation to view the documentary in a private online screening.
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A dvd copy of the film.
  • 3 claimed
A commemorative limited dvd edition of the film.
  • 0 claimed
Estimated delivery Sep 2014
Limited Edition Commemorative T-Shirt
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Estimated delivery Feb 2014
A commemorative t-shirt of the photo of the seven independent Black farmers that was used as the headline photo of the article "USDA Unapproved: The Struggle of the Independent Black Farmer."
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A Limited Edition Commemorative Poster
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A commemorative limited edition poster of the seven independent Black farmers that was used of the headline photo of the article ""USDA Unapproved: The Struggle of the Independent Black Farmer."
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A Limited Edition Production
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Estimated delivery Sep 2014
A commemorative limited edition production diary of the film that will include notes, photos and more of unreleased information of the documentary to the public.
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A Skype conversation with filmmaker.
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Estimated delivery Sep 2014
Two tickets to the advanced screening in Atlanta o
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Estimated delivery Sep 2014
Hang out with production for a day.
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Estimated delivery Mar 2014
Hang out with the production crew for the day and be a part of the one of the scheduled documentary interviews in Atlanta or Washington D.C. (transportation and hotel accommodations are not included).
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Private Dinner with Filmmaker and Advisors
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  • 10 remaining
Private dinner with the filmmaker and advisors of the documentary (Lawrence Lucas and Tanya Ward-Jordan) at one of Atlanta's or Washington D.C.'s exclusive dinner locations (transportation and accomodations are not included).
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Received Producer Credit and Host a Screening
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  • 14 remaining
Estimated delivery Sep 2014
Associate Producer Credit. Receive passes for two at the conference dinner and the premiere screening of the film in Atlanta or Washington D.C. (Transportations and accommodations are not included).
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Producer Credit and Host a Screening
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  • 10 remaining
Estimated delivery Sep 2014
Producer Credit. Bring the movie to your hometown during a national tour and host a ticketed screening.
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Executive Producer Credit and VIP Access
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  • 5 remaining
Estimated delivery Jun 2015
Recognized as the Executive Producer of the film, and given the opportunity to receive VIP access for two to attend all screened film festivals that we are invited to attend.
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