Short-term agreement reached for farm legislation
December 30th, 2012
04:26 PM ET
2 years ago

Short-term agreement reached for farm legislation

(CNN) – Following increased pressure to pass farm legislation by the end of the year, Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow said Saturday that the House and Senate have developed a short-term farm bill extension to prevent dairy prices from soaring in the new year.

The bill "also prevents eventual damage to our entire agriculture economy," Stabenow, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in a statement.
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Filed under: Agriculture Department • Tom Vilsack
December 30th, 2012
09:14 AM ET
2 years ago

Vilsack: Economy will suffer without farm bill

Update 4:30 p.m. ET: Following increased pressure to pass farm legislation by the end of the year, Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow said Sunday that the House and Senate have developed a short-term farm bill extension to prevent dairy prices from soaring in the new year.

The bill "also prevents eventual damage to our entire agriculture economy," Stabenow, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in a statement.

Rep. Frank Lucas, Stabenow's Republican counterpart in the House, said the extension would last one year, but GOP leadership aides tell CNN there has been no decision on whether to bring the stopgap measure for a vote by January 1.

(CNN) - While Congress faces escalating pressure to avoid the fiscal cliff, a key Cabinet member is issuing dire warnings for the economy if Washington fails to immediately act on other vital legislation waiting in the wings.

"It is unconscionable that we don't have a farm bill," U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "This is just historic."
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E-Mails Show Rush to Judgment on Sherrod
October 8th, 2010
10:44 AM ET
4 years ago

E-Mails Show Rush to Judgment on Sherrod

Updated 11:08 a.m. with statement from Sherrod after the jump

(CNN) - Newly released documents give the public its first look inside the Obama administration's internal deliberations over whether to fire Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod, and the hundreds of e-mails clearly confirm officials pushed her out for political reasons despite knowing they did not have the full context of the explosive video that thrust her into the national spotlight.
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September 16th, 2010
09:12 AM ET
4 years ago

White House Dispatch: A man with a cause and a tractor

ALT TEXT

 Virginia farmer John Boyd rolled into town Thursday on his red tractor, rumbling past the White House on his way to Capitol Hill. (PHOTO CREDIT: Dan Lothian/CNN)


8:45 a.m. - During my coffee break this morning, I came across Virginia farmer John Boyd. He was rolling into town on his red tractor, rumbling past the White House on his way to Capitol Hill.

It's a dramatic way to get the attention of Congress which has yet to fund more than a billion dollars in a settlement case for black farmers who were discriminated against decades ago.

This is a story first highlighted in the mainstream media by my colleague Ed Henry, who continues to pursue the efforts of black farmers to get the money they insist they deserve. An effort, as they put it to "sow seeds of justice."

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September 16th, 2010
07:45 AM ET
4 years ago

Tractor is slow, but so is justice, black farmer says

(CNN) – Beginning Thursday, the head of the National Black Farmers Association will ride a tractor to Capitol Hill to press Congress to fund a historic discrimination case settlement involving minority farmers.

John Boyd says he will make the ride on the tractor he named "Justice" each day the Senate is in session.

Last week, he showed up in front of a federal courthouse in New York on a mule - a reference to Civil War-era promises of assistance for freed African-American slaves.

"I'm sorry my tractor may slow things down, but any delay in traffic is small potatoes compared to the years of delay black farmers have endured in our pursuit of justice," he said.

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Filed under: Agriculture Department
August 25th, 2010
07:56 AM ET
4 years ago

Sherrod: 'We can make this a better place for all of us'

Shirley Sherrod told CNN on Wednesday that she does not currently have any other job offers.
Shirley Sherrod told CNN on Wednesday that she does not currently have any other job offers.

Washington (CNN) – A former Agriculture Department employee who was forced to resign last month, then received an apology and a job offer she turned down, said Wednesday she hopes to continue to work on the issue of race relations in America.

"I don't have any job opportunities at this point," Shirley Sherrod told CNN's "American Morning." "I have to just look at what's possible. I do need to take a little time to think and look at the future. I do plan to be busy."

Sherrod resigned under pressure as the USDA's director of rural development for Georgia. The controversy began after conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart posted a portion of a speech Sherrod gave online. In that speech, she seemed to suggest that she did not offer her full help to a white farmer.

The original post appeared to indicate the incident occurred while Sherrod was a USDA employee. News outlets quickly picked up on the story, and Sherrod was asked to resign. However, the incident took place during the 1980s, and Sherrod's speech in its unedited form showed that she was telling the story to illustrate that people should move beyond race. In addition, the white farmer mentioned by her came forward, crediting Sherrod with helping save his farm.

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July 22nd, 2010
08:05 AM ET
4 years ago

Sherrod offered new job, but says she is not so sure

(CNN) - A former Agriculture Department employee who was forced to resign from her job based on incomplete and misleading reports of a speech she gave has been offered a new job by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, but said Thursday she is "not so sure."

"I'm not so sure that going back to the department is the thing to do," Shirley Sherrod told CNN's "American Morning."






Sherrod said she was offered some type of civil rights position in the department's Office of Outreach, and that she was expecting to receive something official in an e-mail from the department. She said Thursday she had not had a chance to see that yet.

But "I would not want to be the one person at USDA that's responsible for issues of discrimination within the agency," she said. "You know, there's a lawsuit by black farmers, there's a lawsuit by Hispanic and Native American and women farmers ... There are changes that would need to happen in order to once and for all really deal with discrimination."

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Filed under: Agriculture Department • Shirley Sherrod • USDA
July 21st, 2010
08:28 AM ET
4 years ago

Former USDA official: Department's reconsideration is 'bittersweet'






(CNN) – A black former Agriculture Department official who resigned under pressure after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer said Wednesday the agency's decision to review her case is "bittersweet," but said she isn't sure she would accept her job back if it is offered.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday that he will review the case of Shirley Sherrod, who resigned Monday after the video clip first appeared on a conservative website and later on Fox News.

In the video, Sherrod, the former USDA director of rural development for Georgia, seems to tell an audience at an NAACP function in March that she did not do her utmost to help a white farmer avoid foreclosure.

However, Sherrod later said the clip only shows part of her comments, and that she tells the story of her experience - from nearly a quarter century ago when she was not a federal employee - to illustrate the importance of moving beyond race.

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Filed under: Agriculture Department • Shirley Sherrod • Tom Vilsack • USDA
July 20th, 2010
07:50 AM ET
4 years ago

USDA employee resigns over statements about white farmer

Washington (CNN) - A video clip showing an African-American woman who later became an Agriculture Department employee seeming to say she had not done her utmost to help a white farmer save his farm was taken out of context, she said Tuesday, and fails to include the point of her story - that people need to move beyond race.






Shirley Sherrod, the department's state director of rural development for Georgia, resigned Monday after conservative media outlets aired the video, in which she says she did not give the white farmer "the full force of what I could do" to help him avoid foreclosure.

"I was speaking to that group, like I've done many groups, and I tell them about a time when I thought the issue was race and race only," Sherrod told CNN's "American Morning" from her home in Albany, Georgia. The incident took place in 1986, before she worked for the USDA, she said. "I was telling the story of how working with him helped me to see the issue is not about race. It's about those who have versus those who do not have."

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Filed under: Agriculture Department • Shirley Sherrod • USDA