Last year, black farmers with the Memphis-based Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association filed a lawsuit against Stine Seed Company, alleging to have been sold defective soybean seeds due to the color of their skin.
A year from the date of the initial filing, a settlement still hasn’t been reached between the 2 parties. Even with an extension on the original deadline, granted by U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes, the parties couldn’t come to an agreement.
A new court date has not been set yet, and it looks as if the case will be fought out in court.
The farmers’ account of what happened
The farmers bought the seeds from a Stine Seed representative at a trade show in Memphis in 2017. They ordered genetically-modified, certified seeds. The farmers allege they were instead given a subpar substitute.
Joe Bryant III, a farmer from Arkansas, joined the suit later, alleging the same subpar product was sold to him.
His stepmother Everlyn Bryant told local reporters:
“We bought them in good faith and was hoping that it would produce a good crop. We’ll deal with it if they don’t make any restitution at all. But we hope that they do.”
Stine Seed Company rebuttal
Myron Stine, President of Stine Seed Company, says the farmers’ claims are untrue:
“Stine takes seriously any allegations of unlawful, improper, or discriminatory conduct and is disturbed by the baseless allegations leveled against the company. Upon learning of these claims, the company took swift action to conduct an internal investigation, which has not revealed any evidence that would support these allegations.”
How this case will play out remains to be seen. One side feels wronged. The other feels wrongly accused. Since they couldn’t come to an agreement, it looks like they’ll get their day in court.
If you need a knowledgeable team of Tennessee attorneys on your side to help you through a legal issue, don’t hesitate to reach out to Gilreath & Associates.