The National Black Farmers’ Association (NBFA) has called for a boycott of the John Deere company, the world’s leading company of farm equipment.
The NBFA said in a news release today(Sept.() that the Deere company executives have “curtly” declined invitations year after year to display equipment at the NBFA’s annual conference.
“We announce a boycott of John Deere. We are asking all NBFA members to stop buying John Deere tractors, implements, mowers and parts,” said NBFA president John Boyd said. “We are now open to new relationships with companies who value the work of NBFA members.”
The NBFA said in its news release that John Deere has shown throughout its history that it has little respect for black farmers, despite a substantial base of black farmers who are customers. The NBFA represents 116,000 members in 42 states.
“The company seems to view our invitations as a nuisance,” said Boyd. “I have reached out to Mr. John May, president of John Deere, numerous times to discuss the issues raised by the NBFA. Mr. May’s response is ‘I decline your invitation,'” which is unacceptable.
Boyd said that many black farmers would relish the opportunity to see firsthand the new and emerging farm technology that is developed to enhance their performance and productivity. But the company continues, Boyd said, to participate at predominantly white farm shows and events, while snubbing the black farmers’ events.
NBFA members also do not enjoy discounts as members of the Farm Bureau do on John Deere purchases and service inquiries are inequitable.
“Service call inquiries to John Deere equipment from black farmers is much slower than their white counterparts,” said Boyd. “We buy tractors and John Deere parts as well. We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect not as a nuisance.”