An Agriculture Community Commemorates the Mule Train to DC

Posted by Gerald Tillman, Chief, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Survey Administration Branch inResearch and Science

Jun 23, 2022

Last month, I had the honor to function keynote speaker for The Mule Train’s 54th anniversary. The Mule Train left Marks, Mississippi and traveled to Washington, D.C., on May 13, 1968, as a part of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign to demand financial justice since Marks resided in the poorest U.S. county at the time. However, Dr. King didn’t witness the Mule Train as a result of he was assassinated the month earlier than the demonstration.

I discovered the Mule Train created a legacy of neighborhood organizing, whereas assembly with the Quitman county’s mayors, farmers, farmworker organizations, highschool students and others.

For instance, although Marks is an agriculture neighborhood, the city didn’t have a grocery retailer for a couple of years. The neighborhood mobilized they usually now have two grocery shops in Marks.

I spoke to the neighborhood about info as energy and subsequently shared USDA’s definition of a farm, which is anywhere from which $1,000 of extra of agricultural merchandise had been produced and bought, or usually would have been bought, throughout the 12 months. Many in the neighborhood discovered the definition useful and important. This info is important for these in attendance (and for readers of this weblog) who’re small farmers and assume they’re too small to share their voices in USDA’s NASS surveys and censuses.

Every voice issues as these information are utilized by choice makers from federal to native ranges. These information immediately influence producers, their operations, households, communities, and industries. That’s why it’s so necessary for farms of all sizes, in all states and counties, city or rural, to reply to NASS’s 2022 Census of Agriculture. June 30 is the final day to join to be counted on this 12 months’s Census of Agriculture.

Gerald Tillman with two other men
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