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Family farmers to testify Wednesday against controversial USDA nominee Tom Dorr at Senate hearing

(March 5, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- The following is from a press release.

National Farm Action Campaign
2001 Forest Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311 Tel:515-282-0484

Contact: Hugh Espey: 515-282-0484, Kathy Ozer: 202-543-5675

Two farmers representing the National Farm Action Campaign, a national campaign of family farm organizations, will travel to Washington to testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee against the controversial nomination of Thomas Dorr as USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development.

Dorr's confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, beginning at 9:30am in Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

George Naylor, a family farmer from Iowa and a leader of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a member organization of the National Farm Action Campaign, will testify at the hearing why family farmers from Iowa and across the country cannot support Dorr. "Thomas Dorr is from my home state, and I know what he stands for. His vision of 225,000 acre mega-farms would destroy family farm agriculture and rural communities."

Naylor will also detail his organization's efforts to obtain government documents about an alleged farm payment scheme involving Dorr. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement filed a federal lawsuit last week on behalf of the National Farm Action Campaign to force the USDA to release the documents.

Leon Crump, a family farmer with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, also a campaign member, said, "My organization represents 30,000 mostly black farm families in 11 Southeastern states. Dorr's comments against religious and ethnic diversity prove he's unfit to hold any government position, especially in the USDA, which has a bad reputation of past racial discrimination. I will testify before the Senate committee why Dorr cannot represent farmers of color."

Since Dorr was nominated last year, the National Farm Action Campaign (NFAC) has led a national movement of rural, civil rights, labor and environmental organizations to oppose Dorr. Over 165 national and state-based organizations have joined NFAC's opposition to Dorr.