A group of Black farmers have filed a class action lawsuit against #StineSeedCompany after discovering that they were sold fake seeds, costing them millions of dollars.
Thomas Burrell, president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, says that the company sold the seeds to farmers all across the Mid-South region — including parts of Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas and Alabama — and as a result, it only produced them a tenth of the bushels they are used to.
“Mother nature doesn’t discriminate,” Burrell said. “It doesn’t rain on white farms but not black farms. Insects don’t [only] attack black farmers’ land…why is it then that white farmers are buying Stine seed and their yield is 60, 70, 80, and 100 bushels of soybeans and black farmers who are using the exact same equipment with the exact same land, all of a sudden, your seeds are coming up 5, 6, and 7 bushels?”
The farmers sent their seeds in for testing at Mississippi State University and it was discovered that the black farmers had not received the same quality “certified” seeds that white farmers had bought. Burrell believes that the seed swap is racially motivated in an attempt to get their land and at a good enough price.
“All we have to do is look at here: 80 years ago you had a million black farmers, today you have less than 5,000. These individuals didn’t buy 16 million acres of land, just to let is lay idle. The sons and daughters, the heirs…