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Scott Prioritizes Racial Justice, Food Security, and Climate for House Ag

“The first Black chairman of the powerful Agriculture Committee says his team is already lining up several spring hearings on key issues.”

“On Tuesday, just a day after Congress finally passed a third COVID-19 relief package and two days before Christmas, Congressman David Scott (D-Georgia) was eager to both reflect on the past and plan for the future.

The 75-year-old representative started by describing his grandparents’ South Carolina farm where he was born and later picked cotton, fed the hogs, and milked the cows. (“You name it, I did it.”) He recalled later living in Scarsdale, New York, with his parents, where he was “the only Black kid in the whole city.” Fast forward to his first run for Congress in 2002 (after 28 years as a state legislator), and he remembered knocking on doors in Georgia at a time when voters were fighting to keep the Confederate battle flag emblem on their state flag.

The way that Scott’s Black identity has shaped his path forward is a constant in all of these stories. So it’s no wonder that as incoming Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, he’s prepared to prioritize justice for Black farmers who have for decades faced discrimination within both the agriculture industry and government agencies.”

Lisa Held reports for Civil Eats December 23, 2020.