Black Land Resources

Disclaimer: The information in this website is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and it is not intended to constitute nor substitute legal advice. Nor should it be construed as an offer to perform future legal services. If you think you need legal advice, please consult a state-licensed attorney in your area. Additionally, to the degree this website and concomitant materials include links and other information regarding third party websites, such information is offered for the user’s convenience and does not constitute an endorsement by The Texas Freedom Colonies Project.

Your first step should be contacting the FSA office at your local USDA Service Center. Find your local USDA Service Center at www.farmers.gov/service-locator.

There are different rules for establishing yourself as a farm operator or a farm owner. This fact sheet from the USDA offers a description of the steps you need to take to resolve heirs property issues in detail.

The Farm Service Administration earmarks a certain percentage funding assistance to “historically underserved farmers and ranchers,” which Congress defined to include:

  • Women
  • African-Americans
  • Alaskan Natives
  • American Indians
  • “Hispanic”
  • Asian
  • Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

You can find out more information about the types of loans available, determine your eligibility, or access loan application forms here.

You can file a civil rights complaint against the USDA by completing the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9419, by fax at (202) 690-7442, or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

You can find out more information about the complaints process here.

Remember to ALWAYS save a copy of everything you submit to USDA for your own records.

The Federation is a non-profit cooperative association of black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives.

Provides legal support and advocacy in North Carolina for financially distressed and limited resource farmers involves action in three separate arenas:  litigation, public policy, and promoting sustainable agriculture and environment.

Provides legal education, forestry management training, and direct legal services to farmers in South Carolina.

Unless your name is on a deed that is recorded with your county’s tax assessor and there are no liens, mortgages, or ANY other encumbrances (see glossary) then you might need legal assistance. There are a number of non-profit organizations in Texas that provide free legal services.

The best organization to contact depends on where you live and sometimes the nature of your issues.

Below is a list of organizations you can contact to try to get a pro bono or volunteer lawyer in different areas of Texas. However, the list is not comprehensive. Pro Bono Texas provides an online Legal Help Finder, that helps you search by area and legal issue to find the best assistance for your specific needs.

In response to Executive Order 13985,  Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is requesting input from the public on how it can advance racial justice and equity for underserved communities. From now until August 13, the public can provide their thoughts and opinions on how USDA can make it easier for people of color to access information and resources on federal farm programs—this includes everything from how to apply for government benefits and assistance, how to interact with USDA employees, and sharing your experiences with racial discrimination at the hands of the agency. The goal is to provide ideas and guidance that will be used by UDA’s prospective Racial Equity Commission to identify and remove barriers that underserved communities and individuals may face when attempting to access federal programs. 

Your input is critical in ensuring the efficacy of the Equity Commissions pending reforms. Please take a moment to tell USDA what it can do to better serve you. You can make your voice heard by visiting https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/USDA-2021-0006-0001 and entering a comment. For more information about the initiative and to see a list of questions and specific input USDA is seeking, please read the description on the Federal Register.

Please be aware that any information you provide will be made public, so please avoid sharing any personal data you wish to keep private.

Here is a helpful video from Regulations.gov on how the public can participate in federal rulemaking with a modernized user interface, improved search engine, and a standardized comment form.

Where can I find out more information about recent legislation affecting Black farmers?

If you are a Black Farmer and want to comment and leave your feedback on  Executive Order 13985 click here!