Washington Law Review


Allowing the rural poor to stay on the land and to better their lives would be one significant contribution to alleviating the problems of the urban ghetto. Yet, at least as regards the southern black farmer and his family, the federal government has not only allowed its welfare farm programs to fail in wholesale fashion, but has acquiesced in and even affirmatively contributed to that failure. This comment offers some empirical data on rural southern life and describes three representative U.S. Department of Agriculture programs and their failures at the local level with regard to the black farmer and his family. Legal actions and theories are presented which might be used in specific cases to afford all farmers equal access to the benefits of the existing farm welfare programs.

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