You are herePolitico: Shirley Sherrod returns to the USDA

Politico: Shirley Sherrod returns to the USDA

By FZ - Posted on 16 May 2011

May 14, 2011- Shirley Sherrod, the U.S. Department of Agriculture employee who was forced out after a portion of a videotape was misleadingly used to show her making a racially insensitive remark, will start working for the USDA again, the department told POLITICO Friday. But she’s not getting her old job back.

Instead, Sherrod will help the USDA improve its dismal civil rights record.

Sherrod will be a contract employee leading one of three field programs designed to bolster relations between the USDA and minority farmers and ranchers. Support for the programs is among several recommendations contained in a sweeping, two-year study released Wednesday that examined decades of discrimination claims by African Americans, Latinos, women and Native Americans.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack commissioned the study shortly after taking office in 2009 — and well before he signed off on Sherrod’s dismissal in July 2010.

The three organizations — the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, the National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association and the Intertribal Agriculture Council — will target minority farmers in the Southeast, the Southwest and Native American reservations, said Justin DeJong, USDA deputy director of communications. The programs are “part of our continued effort to build a new civil rights era” after settling costly discrimination lawsuits brought by minority farmers.

Sherrod will run the Southwest Georgia project, which she co-founded, DeJong said. The program, he added, “is considered among the best southeastern regional organizations focused on the issues and populations affected by this assessment and has a strong relationship and understanding of the work of USDA.”


Mark Crispin Miller
Progressive Democrats of America