80
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      Black Farmers Association meeting in Columbia

      National Black Farmers Association is meeting in Columbia
      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The National Black Farmers Association is targeting the future of its membership as it meets in South Carolina's capital city. President John Boyd says the 23rd annual meeting scheduled to starts Friday is also trying to get black youth interested in farming. The two-day conference will also commemorate payments going out to black farmers under a federal settlement over claims of decades of discrimination by the Department of Agriculture in awarding loans and other aid. Boyd says about 18,000 black farmers have started receiving payments of $50,000 each, plus $12,500 to cover their tax liability. President Barack Obama signed legislation in December 2010 that provided nearly $1.2 million to black farmers. It marked the second round of funding from a class-action lawsuit originally settled in 1999.