The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has approved The Lead Counsel’s recommendation that Morehouse Black Farmers and Landowners Association receive a grant as part of the Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation (“BFDL”) Phase I Cy Pres Grants Process. The organization’s president Harper Armstrong, treasurer Antwain Downs and secretary Odis Hill engaged the service of professional grant writer and former Mayor Betty Alford-Olive to research and write the grant.
The Morehouse Black Farmers and Landowners Association, INC was founded in 2002 and was incorporated with the Louisiana State Secretary on the 3rd day of March 2004. This organization is consistent with promoting agriculture in this region. Since their inception, they have hosted an annual farm tour and field day. They also host a field day for the children to give them exposure the possibilities in the farming industry. Through the efforts of this organization, farmers across the South and other states travel to participate in these events, which are designed to educate farmers and public on USDA Programs, new technology in seeds, equipment and new practices in the industry. This outreach effort has had an impact on teaching the participants on the profitability and possibilities in the agriculture industry. As of this date, attendance has grown to over 200 participants and supported by the Southern University Agricultural and Research Extension Center, LSU Ag Centers, major chemical companies, lending institutions and equipment companies.
According to Harper Armstrong, Antwain Downs and Odis Hill, they were very pleased that Mrs. Olive agreed to work with them on this project because the application process was very strenuous and required many hours of work. Mrs. Olive said, “Competition was fierce in that we were up against other large organizations. Initially, there were over 65 applicants up for review. Our application was one among 35 applicants that were granted an award for 2018 and 2019 upon submission of reports of the organization's work. We will be eligible to apply for the Cy Pres Phase II Grant Process at the end of Phase I.” In closing, Olive said that she credits the strength of their application to the longevity of the organization and the dedicated farmers who share the common bond of generational farmers who want to succeed and see others do well also. The organization will we be hosting membership drives to grow their organization. More information will be available as plans are implemented. A website is currently in the process.