Bankhead–Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937
The Bankhead–Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937 (P.L. 75-210) was passed on July 22, 1937 and authorized acquisition by the federal government of damaged lands to rehabilitate and use them for various purposes. Most importantly, however, the law authorized a modest credit program to assist tenant farmers to purchase land, and it was the culmination of a long effort to secure legislation for their benefit.
|Long title||An Act to create the Farmers’ Home Corporation, to promote secure occupancy of farms and farm homes, to correct the economic instability resulting from some present forms of farm tenancy, and for other purposes.|
|Enacted by||the 75th United States Congress|
|Effective||July 22, 1937|
|Public law||Pub.L. 75–210|
|Statutes at Large||50 Stat. 522|
|Titles amended||7 U.S.C.: Agriculture|
|U.S.C. sections created||7 U.S.C. ch. 33 § 1000|
Management of Bankhead-Jones lands
In 1937, the federal government purchased distressed farmland for the Laura S. Walker National Park under a Federal land utilization program authorized by the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act. The park was named for Waycross, Georgia conservationist Laura S. Walker, in recognition of her work promoting forestry and other civic activities. Work on the park was undertaken by the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1941, the national park was deeded over to Georgia, becoming the State's 13th state park.
First tenant farmer loan repayment
In February 1943, Roddie and Lucile Pridgett of [Rankin County, Mississippi], "became the first Negro farm family in the United States to repay their 36-year farm purchase loan to the Farm Security Administration which they obtained under the provisions of the Bankhead-Jones Tenant Purchase Act." They repaid their loan of $1,495 in only five years.
- "Laura S. Walker State Park Established 1941" (PDF). Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Thomas J. Straka; S. Knight Cox; Heather T. Irwin. "Current Use of Federal Land Utilization Projects Granted to State and Local Agencies" (PDF). Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Clemson University. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- "Laura S. Walker: The Woman Behind the Park". Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- "Thirty-six Year Loan Repaid In Five By Rankin County Negro". The New York Age. February 16, 1943.
- Banfield, Edward C. "Ten Years of the Farm Tenant Purchase Program." Journal of Farm Economics 31 (1949): 469-486.
- Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act. U.S. Statutes at Large, 50, Part 1(1937): 522-33.
- Roosevelt, Franklin D. (February 16, 1937). A Message to the Congress on Farm Tenancy - February 16, 1937. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service. pp. 80–85.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Congressional Research Service document "Report for Congress: Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition" by Jasper Womach.