Honoring Herbert Allen, Sr.by Representative Bennie G. Thompson
Posted on 2014-01-08
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor a long
standing black farmer, Mr. Herbert Allen, Sr. of ``Allen Farm''. He and
his family are residents of Silver City in Humphreys County, MS where
generations of Allens have been farming since the 1940s, which gives
them over 70 years.
The story of the Allen family as black farmers includes major setbacks, but they are still in operation today. Grandpa Nathan Allen started with 40 acres of land in an effort to provide a decent living for himself, his wife, and 6 children. After he died, his son Herbert Allen, Sr. began operating the 40-acre farm and grew it into 323 acres. Herbert and his wife, Nomie, raised 9 children on that small and hard to come by income because again the challenges of the black families were real. In fact they raised most of the food they used to feed their family.
Mr. Speaker and colleagues, the odds have been great and many: Depression, rainy and dry crop years with little to sometimes no government compensation, floods, bad loans, too little loans, and other unfortunate things, but again, through it all they survived.
Herbert Allen, Sr. operated the farm for over 50 years until his death in 2006, then Herbert, Jr. and his brother, Freddie, took over the operation. Although the two brothers managed the daily affairs, it was still a family affair involving all the siblings. There are several spinoff businesses that have been developed: Allen Recycling (Canton and Yazoo City, MS), Allen Heating and Air (Gulfport, MS), and Allen Cattle Ranch (Silver City, MS).
Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring Mr. Herbert Allen, Sr., a black farmer from Mississippi's Second Congressional District.