Farm Food Facts

John Boyd Jr., National Black Farmers Association President

February 05, 2020 USFRA Episode 61
Farm Food Facts
John Boyd Jr., National Black Farmers Association President
Chapters
Farm Food Facts
John Boyd Jr., National Black Farmers Association President
Feb 05, 2020 Episode 61
USFRA

Black history month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U S history.  We're going to share a past conversation I had with one of our nation's most prolific black farmers, John Boyd Jr. who is the founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association.

Show Notes Transcript

Black history month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U S history.  We're going to share a past conversation I had with one of our nation's most prolific black farmers, John Boyd Jr. who is the founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association.

Speaker 1:

Farm Food Facts where every farmer, every acre and every voice matter. Welcome to Farm Food Facts for February 5th, 2020 I'm your host PhilLempert, black history month. It's an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U S history. The story of black history month began back in 1915 half a century after the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States. President Gerald Ford officially recognized black history month in 1976 calling upon the public to seize the opportunity to honor the two often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history. Since then, every American president has designated February as black history month and endorsed a specific theme. The black history month, 2020 theme African Americans and the vote is in honor of the Centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women's suffrage and the 15th amendment, giving black men the right to vote in honor of black history month. We're going to share a conversation I had earlier with one of our nation's most prolific black farmers, John Boyd jr. today, we've got somebody who's very special here. Um, we've got a fourth generation farmer, John boyd jr who is also the founder and president of the national black farmers association. And John, you know, when I, when I read about you and I've seen you on CNN and I've seen you on TV for forever. Um, you know, you've met with president Clinton, you've met with president Obama, you've met with secretaries of agriculture. Um, you are the ultimate farmer and the ultimate person to have as a story on the American farm. Um, you've also been quoted saying land ownership is a big tool and a big plus for people. But you know, being a fourth generation farmer year to the point now where, you know, the farmer's been in the family for about a hundred years and you're faced with a particular problem, um, in what happens next with the farm. Tell us a little bit about that.

Speaker 3:

Uh, yes, it isn't. And the, first of all, thank you very much for, for having me and for that very woman it ducks and I really do appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

Well deserved.

Speaker 3:

Thank you. And excited to be a part of this show. Uh, American farming, I believe it's long overdue for, for national television, uh, to have a full scale, a full blown a documentary, a pod series about, about farmers because we only get, you know, 30 seconds on radio, 30 seconds on television. And so I think it was very good that, uh, the history channel took a chance on this and hopefully, uh, the American people tune in and, and, uh, you know, learn more about farming. But, uh, my, my, my next generation of farmers and, and uh, I'm a fourth generation farmer and my dad and granddad taught me everything that I know about farming and I was faced with, uh, just like you said earlier with a cure your situation. We're a really, none of the children have, have shown a whole lot of interest in farming. Uh, so I'm now trying to show them the, the ins and outs and uh, you know, quite frankly, it's new territory for them. Although they watch me from all these years, they never really participated in the farm. So

Speaker 2:

your watch

Speaker 3:

as I'm watching them for the first time, getting into tractors and stuff like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Well that, that must be great. So John, you know what, what I guess to your point that consumers and viewers really don't understand, number one, where our food comes from. Number two, how hard it is to be a farmer. You know, I look at the stats that are out there and most farmers would, in fact we just did a report where those huge farms, well they're growing that small farmers, the people you know who just want to play, you know, and be a country gentleman, they're growing. But the mid size farmers, folks like you, you've really got a lot of pressure financially. You've got to deal with weather conditions. Mother nature has not been good to the farmer in, in probably the past three or four years. It's a tough job. So for your kids to not be at the point where they say, okay dad, yeah, we're going to take it over. I can sort of understand that because this is one of the hardest jobs that there is.

Speaker 3:

Yes it is. And, and just like you, some prominence, the absolute hottest occupation in the world. You know, I tell people all the time, it's even harder than construction because construction, at least you finished one building and you get a break and you wait till the other job comes, you know, comes right. But FOM and is, is a 24 hour a day in, day out cycle. And for people like me, it's, it's really no Thanksgiving and Christmas without something that we have to do on the farm, all of those holidays, uh, as well. So it's, it's definitely the hottest occupation in the world. Work is hard. And, uh, I tell people all the time, no matter how good the equipment is, there's always a physical labor that's required to hook it up or take it apart or well do the ins and outs of that particular task with the it attracted. So it's labor. Some, uh, it's hard work, but the work is very rewarding work. You know, like today I'm up planting soybeans and the smell the land in the first year, there's absolutely no smell like that, uh, that can. Uh, so I love the farm. I love what I'm doing and hopefully one of the kids, uh, well step up [inaudible] what I Testa farming, fever, you know,

Speaker 2:

and besides everything that you talked about without you, I don't have food to eat. And I think, and I think people just have to have to understand that, that you know, when, when you've got, um, our farming community across the nation that is just faced with all the disasters and everything that's gone on. I mean, that's why I applaud Bobcat studios, the American farm. There's this whole thing I think is, is well overdue as you said before. And I really believe that, that we're going to see it move away from a celebrity chef to celebrity farmers like you, um, who, who can really tell the story. Now, you've been on TV before from a new standpoint. What was the experience like working on, on this American forum series?

Speaker 3:

Well, the, the, the experience is quite different than, uh, like I said, 30 seconds on CNN, MSNBC, Fox or something like that. The experience was, uh, the camera crew being here, uh, uh, for just about a year. You know, they found, uh, with myself and all the family members. So, uh, towards the end we really got a feel for the camera crew and they, they really got a feel for us. But at the beginning it was very new territory, you know, for, you know, especially for my family who was never, you know, uh, had an experience with a camera in your face in a 24 hour, even, even when a, and, and, and they've caught me in some bad situations with, you know, where you may see me unhappy for a few minutes, you know, but that's what it is. You know, your equipment breaks down, you're frustrated with brother, you're frustrated with the prices of, uh, of, of what you're selling the commodity for. And it's really what America needs to see. You know, the farmer isn't easy and a week. We do a lot of work to produce that crops.

Speaker 2:

Yes. You certainly do. And, uh, and whatever we can do to help, um, really promote not only the American farm but your efforts. Um, that's what we do at U S farmers and ranchers Alliance. So, you know, John, thanks so much for being on the program so much for everything that you do. And uh, and hopefully this planning season will be a good one for you.

Speaker 3:

I hope so. A, I'll say a special thank you to two Bobcat productions too, but taking a chance on the boys found me and the other families involved on this one. Wonderful. The show.

Speaker 2:

Let me ask you a question. Have all the families ever met?

Speaker 3:

No. I learned about the other families when you did, you know, when it came on I got to see the other families and, and uh, I'll be honest with that. I was quite interested in their farming operations and what it is that they do and the other family members and I think some of the characters there quite photogenic. So I'm really impressed with what I see so far.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we have to. We have to talk to them about having a party and get all five families together and I'll come to all together and maybe do a podcast and make one another. Terrific. Well, John, thanks so much for joining us on farm food facts. Much appreciated. Thank you for having me. For more information on all things, food and agriculture, and to listen to our archives, please visit food dialogues.com under the programs and media tab and visit us on Facebook at us farmers and ranchers or on Twitter at USF RA. Until next time.