(Photo: The Root)
‘We are asking President Trump to direct his attorney general not to continue to fight the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling. We would like for him (Trump) to affirm that the decision by the U.S. Courts of Appeal was the correct decision.’
— Thomas Burrell
BFAA President

Thomas Burrell, president of the 15,000-member Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association (BFAA), has received an official invitation from the White House to be a VIP guest of President Donald Trump when Trump delivers the keynote address at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Convention in Nashville on Monday, January 8th.

COGIC Bishop David A. Hall Sr., ecumenical support advisor for BFAA is also on the VIP list.

“I contacted the executive assistant to President Duvall, who heads the American Farm Bureau Federation, and expressed interest in BFAA’s officials being a part of the convention,” said Patricia A. Rogers, president and CEO of a local public relations firm that is the agency of record for the BFAA.

“I sent them the Black Farmers’ press kit and directed them to the website. They responded positively and presented our names to the Trump administration. Then, I get a call and an email from the White House.

“Mr. Burrell has also been asked to join a distinguished panel at the AFBF Convention to voice his views on the Farm Bill, commodities and the future of farming.”

The BFAA is headquartered in Memphis. Burrell said the invitation from Trump was a step in the right direction to embrace black farmers and their agenda.

“If I get a chance to talk with him, I am going to ask him to cooperate with the recent U. S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in our favor and make it a tribute to MLK50,” Burrell said.

“After all, he is the president and he has the power to get it settled. President Trump can issue an executive order and compensate black farmers in a class action racial discrimination lawsuit against the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The U. S. Court of Appeals has already issued a landmark decision with our lawsuit.”

Hall said, “We are elated to be President Trump’s VIP guests at the 99th American Farm Bureau Federation Convention. …

“We hope to bring awareness to black farmers’ struggles to acquire loans from the USDA. I want to network at the convention with the American Farm Bureau Federation’s officials. They have the same mission that we have in addressing issues of concern as it relates to farmers and the future of the farming industry.”

(For more information, visit www.mybfaa.us.)