September 10, 2007
Contact: John Zippert (205) 652 9676

Federation/LAF Membership Passes Resolution on 2007 Farm Bill
Resolution Passed During 40th Annual Meeting in August 2007

EPES, ALABAMA.... At the Federation/LAF's 40th Annual Meeting in August 2007 during its business meeting on Saturday, August 18, the membership passed a resolution commending the Black Congressional Caucus for its support and urging farmer members to contact their Senators to support the 2007 Farm bill provisions which would allow late claim filers in the Pigford case a second chance to have their claim heard on their merits.
     The resolution also suggests that Black farmers not sign any legal contracts or send money to any Black farm organizations until the final Pigford correction legislation is passed. Then the farmers should work with the Federation and the Congressional Black Caucus to formulate a legal strategy to gain the best advantage for the late claim filers and others interested in participating in the case. Below please find the resolution.

Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund
Rural Training & Research Center • Epes, Alabama

Resolution on 2007 Farm Bill
August 18, 2007

         1. The membership of the Federation thanks and commends the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus for their work to include provisions to enhance and support the status and condition of Black farmers and all Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers in the 2007 Farm Bill which passed the U. S.  House of Representatives.

         2. We especially highlight and support the provisions which will give late filers in the Pigford Class Action Lawsuit a second chance to have their claims heard on their merits. We will work to maintain and strengthen the Pigford provisions and other provisions beneficially to Black and other Socially Disadvantaged farmers in the Senate version of the 2007 Farm Bill.

         3. The membership of the Federation is urged to contact their U. S. Senators over the next two weeks concerning the Pigford and other provisions of the 2007 Farm Farm Bill to urge their support of these important and necessary provisions. The U. S. Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to debate and vote on its version of the 2007 Farm Bill in September.

         4. The membership and staff of the Federation pledges to assist Pigford late claim filers in securing justice, however we urge these persons not to sign any agreements with lawyers or send any money to organizations until the final version of the Pigford corrective legislation is passed.

         5. The membership and staff of the Federation pledges to work with the Black Congressional Caucus to develop a legal strategy and plan for implementation of these Pigford provisions once they are passed.

         6. We urge each cooperative and state association to develop a contact list of Pigford late claimants that want to work with the Federation to resolve their cases. We will use these contact lists to develop a response to this legislative remedy once it is passed.

Note: The Federation/LAF, now in its 40th 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.