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tv   United Shades of America  CNN  July 26, 2020 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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i'm w. kamau bell. we shot this episode of "united shades of america" in october 2019. we talked to folks in oklahoma about the struggle to keep their family-owned farms alive. and we explored the rich history of black farming, which one's thrived in the united states. since covid-19 there's been a shift in the way we approach food, from what and where we consume, it how it's being produced, even how we shop for it. and family farms face tougher times now more than ever as they struggle to get necessary loans
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to stay afloat. now, we love to mythologize our family farms, but we don't really love to think about their needs. i hope we learn to pay attention long after covid-19 is over. >> americans love stories that make us feel good about ourselves. and one of the big ones is that america loves its family farmers. do we? here's the current secretary of agriculture and millionaire farmer sonny perdue. >> in america big get bigger and small go out. >> what i heard today from the secretary of agriculture was that there's no place for me. >> yep. get big or get out. and if you're a farmer who's not white, the message has just been get out. ah. god bless america. ♪
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♪ this is oklahoma. this is a farm in oklahoma. that's an american flag. and those are pigs. there are 78,000 farms here, which means lots of barns, cows, hay bails and -- ah, spider! 91% of these farms are independent operations run largely by families. typical family farmers. like these guys. wait, what? what in the lil' nas x is going on? yep. at one time agriculture, especially in oklahoma, was where black folks could actually find a place in the american
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economy. we could make money off that trade we'd been forced to learn and perfect for free for 300 years. >> the farm of my grandparents and this is where it all started from. they got the 40 acres but they didn't get the mule. but we got the 40 acres. >> i'm the third generation that's tried to maintain the farm. >> george roberts is in many ways a classic american farmer. here in the town of wewilka he and his crew work hard to keep his family farm in the family. >> we're going to go over there and try to see if we can't capture these pigs. they're supposed to be in the pen. >> so you're trying to get them in there? >> yes, sir. >> okay. >> easy. easy. go, pig, go.
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go, pig, go. >> it's like chasing my kids, trying to get them in the bath. that's what this is. >> that's right. >> do you have any special problems being a black farmer around here? >> oh, man. i'm the only black farmer out here. so i have all kinds of problems. >> that's one problem. you're the only one. at the meetings of black farmers it's just you. >> just me. and that's where we're at now. >> but get this. around the turn of the 20th century oklahoma had over 50 thriving all-black farm towns. black people were actually living a version of the american dream fresh out of slavery.
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some of you are wondering, what happened? racism happened. most of the towns were systematically annihilated by racist policies and outright violence. this isn't a conspiracy theory. this is absolute fact. if you lose the land, the united states will work overtime to make sure you don't get it back. >> that's what i plan to leave my offsprings. you know, because that's what my grandpa left us. i feel like if he'd left us a million dollars it would have been gone by now. >> that's usually what happens. >> so the land is still here and he died in '39. the value of land is the only thing they don't make anymore beside time. >> that's real. >> that's the way i look at it. >> here. here. >> what's about to happen here?
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>> oh, he's been chasing too many girls. so we're going to castrate him now. >> okay. okay. >> yeah. >> they grow better. >> oh, really? >> yes, sir. >> they grow better once they're castra castrated? >> they don't do nothing but eat. >> it's called emotional eating. >> yeah. >> the thing about castration is it takes a lot of pressure off your manhood. i wasn't castrated but i had a vasectomy. i feel like i'll be able to talk to the pig about how it makes you feel healthier. caught up in your 21st century american version of manhood or pighood. [ pig squealing ] >> we'll go ahead and -- one more. >> see what he got on his mind already. >> yeah. >> so that one needs to be
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castrated too? >> yeah. >> oh. because that's what the problem is. wow. this is the wild kingdom out here. i've talked to a lot of farmers. i hear it's hard to run a farm. >> i don't know how much blood, sweat and tears was did by my father and my grandpa, but i know it was plenty. i was 13 when my dad died. and i knew then that someone had to save the farm. if not it was going to vanish because like my dad used to lay in bed, lecturing to my mom somebody's got to care. and i said why me, lord? >> the lord told you it's you. >> yeah. it's you, son. it's you. it's been satisfactory to me to be able to walk over the ground and just say this is close as i'll ever get to my grandpa that i didn't know. >> because this land is the same land he was walking on.
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>> walking on. >> oh, that's nice. >> over time the roberts family has been able to turn that 40 acres into more than 1,000. it would be great if he was trying to grow trees. but he isn't. it needs to be cleared. and you know you're struggling if you need my help. >> kamau said he's ready to take one tree down at a time. >> yep. this would be much faster with a bulldozer. >> timberton. >> but renting one of those could be a few hundred bucks an hour. and that means a usda loan. way they've denied. >> all right. got to put my back into it. >> so for now it's just one tree at a time. >> we're over there trying to chop down some trees help you clear that land. i think we got three, maybe four trees. surrounded by thousands, maybe millions. i have no idea. and then i look over here. that guy's farm is all cleared
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out. perfect and looks like a photograph of a farm. >> right. right. >> and it seems like they don't have a problem clearing the trees over there. >> no. they can grow 400 bails a year. and i can't even grow 50 bails. and george, my cow eats the same amount of hay as the white man. >> people don't understand that. >> john boyd jr. is a fourth generation virginia farmer, the founder of the national black farmers union and the 2019 champion of the looking cool in a cowboy hat contest. >> ultimately this is all the same land. but the bank sees that as a good investment but the bank does not see this as the same level good investment. >> right. >> and i mean, just to be clear, are there any independent farmers who aren't operating without help from the bank or loans or -- >> no. >> it seems that's a part of the business. >> any farmer. blue, black, psychedelic green, you need a farm operating loan to operate. every year. >> every year. >> and then you sell your livestock and you pay it off and
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you do it again next year. and i'm going to say it. farming is a white man's game. and the top ten banks in the united states, they're guilty by not lending money to black farmers the way that they lend to white farmers. >> that's true. >> between 1910 and 1997 black farmers lost about 90% of the land that they own, whereas white farmers lost about 2%. and no, it wasn't because white farmers were 88% better at farming. internal studies at the usda found that the usda authorities had routinely discriminated against african-american farmers. >> the government couldn't have treated us worse than the dirt on the ground we're sitting on. investigated themselves in my local county office. it took 387 days to process a black farmer's loan application. >> 387 days. >> 387 days on average. >> so you miss a whole -- >> a whole year. >> planting. >> bingo. >> and how long does it take to
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process a white farmer's? >> 30 days. >> 30? >> less than 30 days. that's where the problem is. and if i can't get it there i can't get it anywhere. >> that's it. >> that's the united states department of agriculture. the last plantation. and they haven't changed. you know, even after the national lawsuit. >> in 1997 timothy pigford and 400 other african-american farmers sued the usda for systemic discrimination against black farmers. the farmers won. but the payout took 11 years and required ongoing litigation. >> it was merely an apology and an acknowledgment of guilt by the united states department of agriculture. and my grandfather thomas moore used to say every step you take every step you make requires land ownership. so you can either be walking on
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your own or you could be walking on somebody else's and they could have you trespassing and locked up. >> wow. >> so the choice is yours. he said the land was the only way to be free. if you're 55 and up, t- mobile has a plan built just for you. we want you to get the value and service you need to stay connected. saving 50% vs. other carriers with 2 unlimited lines for less than $30 each. we know that connection is more important than ever. and we're here to help, when you're ready to switch. call 1-800-t-mobile or go to t- mobile. com/ 55. they're going to be paying for this for a long time. they will, but with accident forgiveness
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where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. humira is proven to help stop further joint damage. want more proof? ask your rheumatologist about humira citrate-free. if you can't afford your medicine, abbvie may be able to help. when we talk about agriculture, today it seems so abstract. we don't think about the money that's in agriculture. we think of farmers as low on the totem pole in terms of business. but some of the biggest companies in the world are agriculture companies. because they're deeply family
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businesses, it's generations of wealth that are accumulated over decades, centuries. these large companies, perdue, tyson, started as family farms. >> john deere is number 87 on the fortune 500. adm had $64 billion in revenue in 2018. and cargill is the largest privately owned company in the u.s. all started as family operations. ron young is a policy strategist with a focus on senate food policy. >> my great grandmother grew blueberries. and she used to create jam. imagine if she could have gotten usda loans in 1920 to turn that into a growing business. but instead the usda said we aren't going to give loans to black people. >> so you can't even have that dream. >> yeah. so i decided to go get a loan. >> and you don't have generational wealth where it's like and then my uncle gave me a small loan of $100,000.
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>> big farmers were the ones that could loan people money to pay for college tuition. >> when the farmers succeeded, they employed other people. they put their money into the local economy, you know, sent their kids to college. american dream stuff. >> take 1920 where we have around 920,000 black farmers in the country. till today we have 48,000. so we went from owning 14% of the country in terms of land mass in 1920. >> 14% of the country is around the percentage of black people in this country. >> yes. to owning less than half of 1% today. if those 920,000 farmers were not only allowed to remain but also probably create more black farmers, how different would this country be? >> it would be drastically different. when we crunched the numbers, over the course of the last 100 years, we're talking 177 to 230 billion dollars that black farmers have lost because of active discrimination.
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paid for by us. >> well, not by us. >> taxpayer dollars. >> i just want to be clear. i don't want us to take the blame. >> it's essentially that our taxpayer dollars have been used to hurt our own communities. and we're in tulsa. imagine -- look at the wealth that was built up in this city, in this one area. you know, black wall street. and extrapolate that out to how much more they could have generated. >> black wall street, very historic area in tulsa, oklahoma. and has that moniker for reasons. booker t. washington they say gave it the name. because when folks visited they saw black-owned businesses, homes, industry, doctors, lawyers, we had black folks that owned their own planes, pilots. >> regina goodwin is an oklahoma
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state representative who was born and raised in greenwood. but it doesn't matter what her job is because he had feels like the mayor of black wall street. greenwood used to go all the way down to pine and pine is miles that way. >> really? i had no idea. >> yeah. >> in 1920 greenwood was roughly 35 square blocks. a shining black city on the hill. and now it's one short street. and most of the neighborhood has been annexed by the city. oh, look, a freeway. i'd rather have that than my culture. >> it's just this kind of abbreviated thing. so when folks come they're like is this it? >> i was going to ask that question. i felt weird like saying is this it? >> oh, no, you should say is this it because we say is this it. right? >> we have to keep the memory of black wall street alive. at the very least to remember all the potential this country lost and destroyed. but mable b. heritage house is the last remaining glimpse of life there. and look at it. it wasn't bad.
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calvin ross is the editor-in-chief of the greenwood tribune. >> what do you want people to see when they come in here? why is it important to keep this place? >> i think it's important because folks can really get a feel for how folks live in the 1920s. this is a typical family in a black community. >> this was not the one black millionaire in town's house. >> no, no. not at all. >> so it seems to me like this is one of those times where segregation doesn't work out the way that white folks planned. they said you've got to be over there and blacks were like, fine. we've got places to hang out, we've got lawyers, doctors, multiple grocery stores, small businesses, we're doing great. and then white folks were like whoa, whoa, whoa, you're supposed to be miserable. >> yeah. we put you in your place. >> and we're like we like this place. >> we made the most of it. >> instead of white folks being like i'm glad they're okay, they had to take it away. >> that night my family heard trouble was coming. they never would have imagined
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major mayhem and murder. >> you had dick roland, a shoeshine boy. he went upstairs to use the restroom. there's a young lady who was the elevator operator. one story goes that he stumbled onto the elevator and touched her. she screamed. a store clerk heard the commotion. he comes running. dick roland runs out of there, run to greenwood for safety. and next thing you know it you see the headlines in the newspaper, "nab negro in elevator attack." and all hell breaks out. and it's on. >> fires, arson, and bombs. you had the choice, if you're inside your home, you could either die inside your home. right? while your house is on fire. or you could run out on the street and be shot to death.
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those are your options. >> yes. what is the law enforcement of -- i just thought i'd ask. >> well, let me tell you. you've got a system that thinks the kkk is a club. if anything they will departmentize the mob. >> hundreds, right? >> they were deputizing people to come be terrorists. >> and the police chief was on it. that is documented in the commission report. >> let's be clear about something. this is terrorism. it's not just crime or a riot. it was premeditated and thoroughly executed. and even worse, it is state-sponsored terrorism. and the state got away with it. >> some folks left down those train tracks, never returned to tulsa. and the folks that remained feared for their lives and they had a right to fear because they'd seen relatives murdered. so it became this culture of
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silence, this conspiracy of silence. that still carries over today. >> i just recently found out what any great grandfather had here. there's a freeway on top of his business right now. that could have been my place. that was my inheritance. >> that's the thing that is sort of like -- the ability to pass down business and wealth to generationsize what makes generations rise. because like there's white families with money in this country, the gettys, the carnegies, rockefellers. we just accept those are rich white folks. but black people haven't been able to have access. and this would have been a place where black generational wealth that establishes foundations and communities and helps communities all across the country would have come right out of here. >> what we could have been is what we were. and that was destroyed. >> imagine what oklahoma would mean to black america if all the black farms, black towns and black professionals had been allowed to build and reinvest and discover new opportunities.
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then imagine what america would look like to the world if other cities had been allowed to replicate those models. and then remember george. still clearing his farm. one tree at a time. because it's inanimate! people ask me what sort of a person should become a celebrity accountant. and, i tell them, "nobody should." hey, buddy. what's the damage? i bought it! the waterfall? nope! a new volkswagen. a volkswagen? i think we're having a breakthrough here! welcome to caesar's palace. thank you.
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other than george and the fewer than 50,000 that fight on, the story of black farmers is largely the story of the past. most are gone. it's a cautionary tale to all independent farmers. three hours northwest of george is the town of tongawa and the bluebolth family. their struggles may have been different but one thing is the same. every day is a fight to hold on to the land. >> this is the sixth generation to live here in the house. i was raised here. dad was raised here in the home as well. >> and what were you farming back then when you were a kid? >> wheat. back then the wheat price was $3.50 a bushel. it's still $3.50 a bushel. >> there's just not any profit in it. >> scott bluba is a lifelong farmer and rancher and was recently elected president of the oklahoma farmers and
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ranchers union. scott's father cletus and his son zack and zane all grew up on this land. >> we had this gigantic steiger. and i was so little i couldn't push the lunch in by myself. what dad would have to do is he would have to push the clutch in for me and he'd say okay, your dad's going to get down and you can let off the clutch but let me get out of the way first. that's a lot of pressure for a kid. >> i'm responsible for my dad's life. >> that's why i sell insurance. >> as a child i remember mom working two jobs, working at a convenience store and working at walmart at the same time. >> just to pay the electric bill and buy groceries. because there was zero pretty much income at that time in the '80s. the whies of wheat just collapsed. you know, looking back, i'm not
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sure how we hung on. it was really rough. >> some of you might remember farm-aid. no, no, the original farm-aid. was there ever a young willie nelson? that benefit concert was a result of one of the most devastating agricultural crises in u.s. history. in the early '80s commodity prices in the u.s. crashed as a result of record production, high interest rates and a grain embargo against the soviet union. this punished family farms, sending hundreds of thousands of them into crisis and leaving much of main street america looking like this. and we're doing the same thing again with china. apparently, they can have our marvel movies but not our soybeans. >> we're very fortunate that we still have a farm to pass on to the next generation to see what they can do with it. >> since his father was elected to the union, 22-year-old zack has taken over the farm. and he knows the cards are stacked against him because being an independent farmer no
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matter your age, race, or gender that's how it works. >> how does it end up with you? >> it was more necessity than anything. if i didn't what would happen? you know. just as basic as it gets. >> he's got his hands full. jumping right in out of college. i'm proud of him. he'll do very well with it. >> do you see one day passing this down to the next generation? >> yeah. i mean -- >> got to find a girlfriend first. >> yikes. all right. >> look around. oil rigs, windmills, livelivest a bunch of different crops. you've got to get everything you can out of the land. the hope is that where one source of income fails two succeed. but the truth is that many farmers barely even break even
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and some lose money year after year. >> the idea of the family farm is if your corn is the best corn then your corn is going to sell because people like your corn. >> well, i suppose in a few lttle places maybe that works. but out here we really grow commodities. our commodities are then sold to giant corporations to process those commodities. then they go to the giant retailers to sell. >> yeah. >> and that's one thing that we're really getting squeezed on. so what you're paying at the grocery store. that's the retail -- >> so i pay $5 for like a box of cereal. >> yeah. i get a nickel. isn't that crazy? >> ea nickel. and i'm wondering why it's so expensive and i'm mad at you. >> and it costs me seven cents to grow it. >> wow. >> we have no market power anymore at all as farmers. not at all.
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>> you don't get to negotiate -- >> no. there's no negotiation of the prices. >> aren't there antitrust laws for stuff like this? >> sure is. so we had the same scenario around the turn of the century. so 1921 they actually enacted the packers and stockyard act that regulated this industry. and it worked. it worked. for all those years it worked. it worked really well. and then probably about 1980 we just started ignoring those laws as deregulation came about throughout the whole industry. and now we're right back where we were in 1921 at the same consolidation levels and we have no free market again. the law's already on the books. we don't even need a new law. all they have to do is start enforcing it. that's why our share is at an
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absolutely all-time low today. so i want to show you something here. these beans were lush and beautiful, looked like the best krob we were ever going to have. >> yeah. >> on the 12th day of october we got down to 30 degrees. a freeze. and so it killed the beans. they died down. so that's the freeze damage on there. because of that, that early frost and freeze here, we're looking at just on my farm alone losses probably up to $200,000. >> wow. yeah. >> you wake up one morning and you've lost $200,000. that'll make you sick. >> yeah. >> that'll make you sick. >> i don't feel good hearing it. >> yeah. >> do you think this freeze, the third earliest freeze, do you
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think it somehow might be related to climate change? >> oh, i think definitely we see the extreme weather patterns now. we do all the science, we do all the work. but at the end of the day it's a gamble. mother nature. >> it's a gamble with rigged slot machines. >> yeah. you're better off going to vegas and trying -- >> take that 200 grand to vegas and see what happens. >> yeah. you might win there. >> yeah. >> out here it's close to zero.
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we're in a big trade war. with the tariffs and the president put on china and then they retaliate and put them on our soybeans. >> i think we're winning it. you know what? you want to know something? we always win. >> china was our number one customer. they're not anymore. they're not buying our grain anymore. it's not just soybeans. it's all of the commodities right now. wheat, corn, beans. cattle. so there's just no way to make up for that loss of that market.
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it took us decades to build those markets over in china. and they're buying a lot of that now from brazil. >> even if the tariffs go away -- >> even if they go away. >> they've got a new place to get it from. >> yeah. they've tried to throw some money at the problem a little bit through these market facilitation payments. >> yeah. >> they're tiny. >> the government is like giving you a kickback. >> yeah, hush money you might say. it helps a little bit. we're grateful to get it. but it's a band-aid on a big problem. >> yeah. >> we've lost a lot of family farms. and we're becoming extinct quickly. and once we're gone and out of the way you're going to be totally dependent on these big corporations for your food. and they're really international companies. they're not even u.s. companies. they're worldwide companies. and i really think it's a food security issue. >> as politicians crow about a trade war with china that we look to be losing, a chunk of u.s. farmland the size of the state of ohio has been bought by
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foreign companies over the past couple decades. imagine a future where america buys its food from china but that food is grown here in the u.s. >> when the farm crisis of the 1980s hit here, it was just devastating to this part of the world. that's been 35, 40 years ago. and we haven't recovered yet. we had all kinds of thriving businesses here. and most of them are gone now. so our community has survived and we're still here. but i'm very concerned that things are not going in the driet direction. and i don't see a big will from congress to step in and do something right now. >> okay. >> and the president talks the talk but we don't see the action. >> mm-hmm. >> another five cents, you know, on a loaf of bread would make a
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world of difference for this whole community and the farms would be prosperous and this community would be prosperous. our young farmers can't hang on much longer. they don't have a lot of equity to hang on for a long time in the tough times. we're definitely in the tough times now. and if we lose those young farmers and ranchers, then this town has no future. >> i was talking to scott who's like for every loaf of bread that is sold or box of cereal we get five cents. you know, you hear that, you go five cents? >> we get so little of like the money from that. >> yeah. >> we get so little of it. >> you've got a future economist over here. that's the whole problem. you're doing the most work and getting the least out of it. yeah. [ applause ] >> we love the idea of the
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family farm. we like to imagine their loving hands growing our food. next time you're shopping just check out the words "family farm." they're on everything. well, here are your families. these are the folks you're imagining. real people with real children and real worries who are being squeezed to the breaking point by the same companies who print those words. when you imagine them, imagine that. >> no matter what's going on or the challenges, it's home. >> money's definitely not what drives us. everyone needs to survive. who wouldn't like a little more money? but we can make a lot more money probably doing something else. we want to be here and raise our kids here. [ cheers and applause ] >> whoo!
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kamau, you want to come to see boris? this is boris. he's so nice. >> so is he allowed to walk around free like this? he's not lost, he's home? >> he's home. he's going to lay down and give us his belly. >> angela thorntonberry has a less conventional approach. she's not a multigenerational farmer. she brought the 413 farm four years ago. she doesn't deal with the big conglomerates. instead she sells directly to local chefs and farmer's markets. it's small but it's working. no operating loans, no massive debts. a simple life. just her, her husband, a horse, two bulls, eight cows, three sheep, 60 pigs, 900 chickens, and seven kids? whew. that seven kids is hard. >> you know, i've talked to a lot of farmers who are raising commodities, which i didn't really understand what that was until this week. but you're raising food.
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>> i am direct to consumer. >> yeah. >> profit margin is already pretty low with restaurants at wholesale rate. i couldn't imagine the commodity market. it's just so tight of margins. you'd have to be at such large scale. and you need millions of dollars to build those barns. so my pigs, they live here in the woods. they get fresh air, sunshine, grain, free range. they get to root around and eat the acorns. and be their pig self. over the years i've worked with farmer's markets. i've worked with restaurants. i've tried to enter the grocery scene. but this year i've learned if i create bratwurst, heat it up, put it on a bun and sell it to people who come to the farmer's factor to shop, i go from $3 a round to 40. >> oh. >> so heat it up and let you eat
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it. >> yeah. can you just do the whole thing for me? >> the whole thing. >> i'll pay a lot more. >> you know who's pushing it? >> who? >> to make ends meet so me, angela and her daughter have 400 chicks to move from incubation to the field. once again, if you need my help, it ain't good. >> oh, that's the smell. >> these are 400 meet chickens. they're different from a chicken that will lay eggs. >> where do they go after you take them out? >> we're going to go out into the pasture. >> okay. >> you want to catch them around their wings so their wings don't flap and they don't bruise. >> all right. let's do this. i'm trying to be gentle. i'm sorry. i'm being so gentle, i haven't actually picked one up yet. okay. all right, guy. that's one.
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two. okay. you like palmed it like a basketball. so you just start grabbing, away we go. and i'm like, how is everything going? tell me about your father. three, three, three. so that's three. >> oh, oh. >> he just jumped out. you didn't tell me that could happen. i'm still counting that as three. how many you got so far? >> almost 50. >> almost 50. i'm at three. is that good? am i doing good? >> yeah. >> are you being nice? >> yeah. >> you'll love the outside part. >> yeah. >> my favorite part is the way chickens are meant to be raised. >> okay. free range sounds great, but that's really just a legal term. the usda gives huge, often ugly latitude to that definition.
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so if you care enough to buy free range at the store, try the next step. find someone like angela. they are everywhere. that way the farmers, not the corporations, get a fair price for their work. as far as the chickens, well, they get to pursue their bug eating dreams. right here? >> mm-hmm. >> there you go. >> our hardest part as farmers is getting the big guys to buy in to what we're doing. the grocery stores just -- >> it's just erlz >> it's just easier for them to order from the big corporations than it is to order from individuals. >> i have asked them can i rent space on the shelf. >> wow. you said, i will pay you for the space. >> they tell us we'll get beat up on price.
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i know we're higher, but let the consumer make that decision. >> thanks for not making fun of me for not being as fast as mariah. i appreciate that. take care. have a good four weeks. eat a bug. "united shades of america," brought to you by dominos. order online and track your brought to you by tums. fights heartburn fast. hey lily from at&t here. today, we're talking with sara.
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a volkswagen? i think we're having a breakthrough here! welcome to caesar's palace. thank you.
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simon pagenaud takes the lead at the indy 500! coming to the green flag, racing at daytona. they're off... in the kentucky derby. rory mcllroy is a two time champion at east lake. touchdown! only mahomes. the big events are back and xfinity is your home for the return of live sports.
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♪ it's sunday back at george's farm. and sundays are about church and barbecue. this is every sunday, every birthday, every holiday because what george lacks in neighbors or other black farmers or government loans, he makes up for in family. curly is george's older sister and the family matriarch. tammy is his niece and 19-year-old kiarra, george's grand nice is heir apparent to the roberts farm and legacy. >> what do you think about having all this family around here? >> i have it all the time. >> yeah. it gets packed out here. >> so this isn't packed? >> five generations. >> how do you have five
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generations under you, as young as you are? >> i turned 90 the other day. >> 90? and do you live in that house over there? >> i grew up in that house. my daddy built it one year after i was born. >> oh, wow. did you work this farm when you were a young girl? >> heck yes. i can do anything a man can do on a farm. >> okay. i believe you. i believe you. what kind of work did you do on the farm? >> plow, milk cows. i did everything. my dad died when i was 10 years old, so i ran this farm with my mom. >> i would imagine through generations the family has to find people in that generation who will take it on. >> the only next generation is my niece because she's been in the gardens with me since she was like 5. i was like, are you interested? could you please go to school and get an agriculture degree, and she did. >> your plan is to take this over, right? >> yeah. >> she didn't have a choice. >> yeah. >> so you must want to do it somewhere in there. >> oh, yeah. i mean, it's in me. like i grew up around this.
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whenever you plant and see what you did, that makes you happy because you know, i did that. it's kind of hard to, you know, plant. >> what's the first thing you grew where you felt like you got really excited about? >> definitely squash. by always pick the yellow squash and green tom toes and oak cra. that's like the three major things. plus, it's different. like i love it. it's in me. >> you're not intimidated by it? >> no. because i know i have my family and i have god. i'm already the fifth generation so it has to -- it has to keep going. >> never sell our property. >> stay in the family. >> land is something that you keep building from. keep building from. and there is life. >> this is so amazing that this is where black women in this country come from. but only a few generations
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removed, most of us have forgotten about it. >> if they can't afford rent, they can always go pitch a tent. >> you can't afford rent, you can pitch a tent. this is your land. >> yeah. that's right. i mean, they can't put us off of this. >> they can't put you off this. this is your land. >> amen. >> this is their land, the family land. and like we talked about earlier, george and scott and other farmers know that if they lose their land, they ain't getting it back. and more than that, you see these images of george and scott and angela's families and it is easy to fall into that classic american story about farming and hard work and good lynching, but more and more these stories just aren't true. once again, it's on us, those of us that benefit from all this hard work, to put pressure on our politicians and the big conglomerates to pay the farmers a fair wage.
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otherwise, this story like a lot of other american stories is just a lie. and i will happily pay another nickel for my corn flakes. how about you? i don't even like corn flakes. frosted flakes, yeah. from bad to worse. some u.s. states see a spike in coronavirus cases as health officials urge shutdowns. we'll speak to a doctor in california about the situation there. plus, china closes down an american consulate. a retaliatory move for having to close one of its own. and the u.s. stimulus relief is set to expire soon. why the white house and republicans are optimistic about their latest proposal. welcome to you, our viewers here in the united states and around the world. this is "cnn newsroom."


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