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Black Farmers' Boycott Against John Deere to Continue
USAgNet - 09/18/2020

Calling it 'a highly offensive move,' the National Black Farmers Association claims John Deere has set up its own coalition to represent black farmers, in an apparent effort to sidestep the boycott NBFA launched this week, association president John Boyd declared. As a result, they are boycotting Deere.

After years of discrimination and inequitable treatment by the iconic company, Boyd said the boycott was intended to draw attention to John Deere's unfairness and gain respect and better responsiveness for black farmers.

He charged that the company declines to participate in the NBFA's annual conference or display new equipment and parts as it does at other agricultural industry events. 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.

"Today's announcement from the multi-billion 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. "This is the equivalent of being rightly criticized on the facts by groups like the ADL and UnidosUS then creating groups to replace them."

Boyd said the company that rakes in "billions of dollars a year is paying more money to consultants to blow up my phone line than it would cost them to provide inclusion and equality to their agriculture equipment customers who are black. Our boycott will continue and grow stronger."

According to Boyd, Deere has demonstrated its apparent ill will against NBFA leadership by maneuvering around the association to form a group called LEAP, an acronym for "Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Production Systems." It includes such disparate and non-farming member groups as the NAACP, to which Deere has donated in the past, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, whose only connection to the NBFA complaint is that Marc Howze, an administrative officer of Deere is a board member of the Marshall Fund.

Boyd said the Deere company's claim that it has "supported the National Black Farmers Association through participation in the 2019 annual conference," is false.

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