Partial Transcript: This is an oral history interview with James Jackson for the University of Kentucky Family Farm, uh, Oral History Project.
Segment Synopsis: James A. Jackson shares about his family members and their careers. This includes his parents and his four sisters.
Keywords: Ages; Auctions; Careers; Cows; Dairy farm; Extension agents; Food; Homes; Jobs; Retirement; Siblings; Sisters
Subjects: African American families; African American farmers; African American parents; African Americans--Employment
Map Coordinates: 36.854722, -87.488889
Partial Transcript: Um, gosh you started a lot of things in, in my mind here. Um. What about your--let's start with education.
Segment Synopsis: Jackson discusses the educational experience of himself and his family members. He explains the careers their education led to. He also shares about his family's military background.
Keywords: Careers; College; Cows; Dairy; Degrees; General Education Diploma (GED); Majors; Military; Milking; PhD; ROTC; Schools; Training; University of Louisville; Vocational schools; Western Kentucky University
Subjects: African American farmers; African American parents; African Americans--Education; African Americans--Employment
Partial Transcript: Um, let's, um, let's go back to your--the, the place where you were born.
Segment Synopsis: Jackson reflects on memories about his childhood farm. He discusses the crops and livestock that were raised by his father on their farm. He explains the way his family farm was passed down to the next generation.
Keywords: Acres; Alfalfa; Aunts; Cows; Crops; Dairy; Equipment; Grain; Grandfathers; Land; Military; Payments; Retirement; Siblings; Tobacco; Wills; World War II
Subjects: African American families; African American farmers
Map Coordinates: 36.854722, -87.488889
Partial Transcript: What's the farm like now? How has it changed since when you--your first memories of the farm?
Segment Synopsis: Jackson explains various changes that occurred on his family farm over the years. This includes getting rid of Stanchion barns and upgrading farming equipment.
Keywords: Acres; Cost of farming; Cows; Crops; Dairy; Equipment; Finances; Gardens; Grade A; John Deere; Leasing; Mennonite farmers; Milk room; Milking; Properties; Rent; Stanchion barns; Tractors
Subjects: African American farmers; African Americans--Agriculture; African Americans--Economic conditions
Partial Transcript: Where did your, uh, your dad learn about--you said he read a lot. What kind of things would he read to learn--
Segment Synopsis: Jackson shares about his father's continuation of farm education. He learned about new farming techniques, built good relationships with extension agents, and attended night classes. His father also formed a relationship with a Mennonite farmer in his community.
Keywords: Artificial insemination (AI); Bulls; Cattle; Courses; Cows; Dairy; Equipment; Extension agents; Mennonites; Night classes; Partnerships; Practice; Teamwork; Techniques
Subjects: African American farmers; African Americans--Agriculture; African Americans--Education
Partial Transcript: So you started when you were a young child working. You and your sisters would work--
Segment Synopsis: Jackson recalls the way labor was divided on the farm when he was growing up. He shares what he and his sister did as chores. He explains the differences and similarities between his parents' roles on the farm.
Keywords: Black schools; Bookkeeping; Bush hog; Calves; Chores; Cleaning; Cooking; Cows; Feeding; Field work; Finances; Gender roles; Grades; Grain; Hay; Marriage; Milking; Sisters; Taxes; Teachers; Tractors
Subjects: African American families; African American farmers; African Americans--Education
Partial Transcript: Um, lets see, where was I? The house that you, that you lived in, what was it like?
Segment Synopsis: Jackson explains changes that occurred to his childhood home. He describes its layout and who slept in which bedroom.
Keywords: Additions; Barns; Building; Construction; Grandmothers; Home; Houses; Rooms; Sisters; Snakes; Timber; Wood
Subjects: African American families; African American farmers; African Americans--Housing
Partial Transcript: Um, what about the, the community in, uh, in your, in your background?
Segment Synopsis: Jackson shares about the small community he grew up in as a child. He explains the implicit racism and discrimination that occurred.
Keywords: Black; Children; Church of Christ; Churches; Community; Competition; Differences; Discrimination; Diversity; Friends; Games; Jobs; Race; Schools; Separation; White
Subjects: African American farmers; Race relations--Kentucky; Racism--Untied States; Rural African Americans
Partial Transcript: Was your father, uh, or is he now, uh--well he's obviously a recognized person in the--
Segment Synopsis: Jackson shares about his parents' involvement in their local community. This includes working on boards and various organizations.
Keywords: Achievements; Boards; Churches; Community; Dairy; Discrimination; Farmer Home Administration; Fathers; KDRI; Mothers; Veteran of Foreign Wars
Subjects: African American farmers; African Americans--Social life and customs
Partial Transcript: Um, one, one more question. We've, we've gone about an hour. And maybe the next time we can talk about your farm more explicitly.
Segment Synopsis: Jackson describes various government farming policies that he and his father have utilized as farmers.
Keywords: Conservation; Disaster payment; Drainage wades; Droughts; Income; Minority farmers; Policies; Ponds; Programs; Reservation; Weeds
Subjects: African American farmers; African Americans--Agriculture
MULLINAX: This is an oral history interview with James Jackson forthe University of Kentucky Family Farm Oral History Project. This interview is being conducted by Maureen Mullinax on December 30th for the minority farmer sub-project. Let's start out with just some--some background information on you. Can you give me your full name and when you were born and where you were born?
JACKSON: Okay. My full name is James A. Jackson, Jr. Ais Augusta. I was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and on the date of January 17, 1950.
MULLINAX: Okay. So that makes you forty-one.
JACKSON: Forty-one. Almost forty-two.
MULLINAX: And what about your parents. What are their full namesand?
JACKSON: James A. Jackson, senior and Edith Jackson.
MULLINAX: Edith. Okay.
MULLINAX: And where were they born?
JACKSON: Okay. Dad was born, I think, in Pembroke, Kentucky. I00:01:00know that's where he said he grew up.
JACKSON: Pembroke, Kentucky.
JACKSON: My mom, I'm not sure exactly where she was bornbut she grew up in Trenton, Kentucky. She may have been born in Hopkinsville. She never said.
MULLINAX: Is that Western--
JACKSON: Western Kentucky.
MULLINAX: --are they both Western Kentucky?
MULLINAX: And do you know the dates of their birth?
JACKSON: Not exactly. I know mom was, I know the dates,but I don't know the years. Mom was born on February 28 and right now she is--she's eighteen years older than I am. So she would be fifty-nine.
JACKSON: And dad was born on May the 23 and he'sseventy-three, I think. He's thirteen years older than Mom, seventy-two.
MULLINAX: Okay. Is he still alive?
MULLINAX: Okay. Okay. And then how many siblings do you have?
JACKSON: I've got four sisters.
MULLINAX: Okay. What, what are their names and--
JACKSON: Suzy is the oldest and Suzy is a year anda half older than I am and she is forty-three. And my 00:02:00next youngest sister is Brenda and she is seven years younger than I am. So that would make her thirty--thirty-five, four. And next would be Donna and she is--I don't remember how many years older--she is probably nine years younger than I am. So that would make her about thirty-two or thirty-one. Somewhere in that range. And then Renae is the baby and she's thirty. She's ten years younger than I am, but thirty-one. So I'm forty-one. Yeah. Thirty-one.
MULLINAX: So you're the second--second older out of--
JACKSON: Yes. Out of five.
MULLINAX: Okay. And what do they do?
JACKSON: My older sister is a dentist. She has a practicein Louisville. Brenda she's a major, I think, in the Army and she lives in Arlington, Virginia. Donna--she works for Lockheed Company. And Renae, 00:03:00her husband is in the Navy and she works--I'm not really sure who she works for, but she works for something dealing with computers.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. And where is she at?
JACKSON: She's, let's see, Donna is in Georgia. Real close tothe border of Florida and Renae is over in Florida, fairly close to the border or either vice versa. I forget.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. And what about your parents what--what do they do?What have they done in the past?
JACKSON: Well, Dad farmed on up until this year and hehad a dairy farm and he sold the cows. He sold the cows to the fellow that he had milking for him and he leased the farm to the same fellow. And so he had an auction on his equipment back September the 26th of this year. So he's retired from farming. And Mom, she works for the ag extension service. She is one of the people that goes to the different homes and she goes to the stores and she tells the expectant 00:04:00mothers from the--the low-income. Expectant mothers how to prepare their food properly. What foods to select and those type things. She's went--whatever they call it, food extension.
MULLINAX: Okay. Gosh, just thought of a lot of things in--inmy mind here. What about your--let's start with education in your family. You have quite a bit of education. What about your--your mother's education?
JACKSON: Mom only has her GED because was only thirteen orso--how old was Mom when they got married. She was very young. She was only like fifteen when they got married. So she had only been like one year of high school or two. She was maybe a freshman or sophomore when they got married.
MULLINAX: And your dad was--
JACKSON: He was twenty-seven.
MULLINAX: Twenty-eight. Twenty-seven, twenty-eight.
JACKSON: So that was--whatever that calculates out to be, fourteen. Soshe got her GED. I can--I don't remember how old I was. 00:05:00I can remember at the time that she got her GED, but Dad had gone to--to Fisk University I think before the war and then during when the war came he quit--well, he was called up because of the war. So he had to quit, I think, in his sophomore year. I believe he said he was and when he came back, he did go through one of the programs for--ag programs.
MULLINAX: Where was that?
JACKSON: I don't--he never said. So I don't really know wherehe went. It was just one of those things where they--a vocational ag type thing. You know, just to get through the basics of what should be done with. What to do. The thinking was at that time as far as I think should--as far as farming was concerned.
MULLINAX: And your mother she--she had her GED and how did00:06:00she get into her line of work now?
JACKSON: See I left home at about '68 and that wasabout the time that mom--she had helped with the farming all up through that time. And when I left home in '68 Dad hired a fellow to do the milking. We were milking probably around forty-five or so cows at that time and we were also farming quite a few farms at that time. And so after dad hired the fellow to do the milking mom decided to seek other employment. So that's when--about the time that she decided to look at these other options. I don't remember exactly what year she started but it was somewhere around in the early seventies.
MULLINAX: I guess she had additional training to do that orjust the--just jumped right into the position? 00:07:00
JACKSON: I don't remember. To be honest, I don't think. Shemay have had to go through some of their training programs but she didn't go through any other things like, you know, college or any place. It was probably just some of their training programs that she attended. And I know that they have kind of up-dates where they--the home-makers groups all get together up here in Lexington. Usually once or twice a year. So I think it was just primarily through their--
JACKSON: --training program.
MULLINAX: --training program.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. What about the rest of you? Okay. You've gotfive in your family--
MULLINAX: --and what about with your oldest sister?
MULLINAX: Her education?
JACKSON: My oldest sister went to Western and got her degreefrom Western. She got a degree in bio-chemistry, I think, first. And then she went through Newark, New Jersey and worked for one of the chemical companies as a lab technician. That's been a long time ago. I don't remember exactly which--which company she was working for. But 00:08:00then after a while, I think, after about four or five years she decided to get a profession rather than having just a her bio-chemistry degree. And that's when she decided to go back to dental school--go to dental school. And I think she started first in, oh, heck, what is the name of that school. One of the schools there in New Jersey. Is it Emily Dickenson? I can't remember the name of the school. Anyway from there she transferred to U of L because her husband at that time was living in Louisville and she was living in New Jersey. So they were having to go back and forth and so in order to get in one place it made more sense for them to go back to Louisville. And so she applied to U of L and got into U of L and she got her dental degree from U of L.
MULLINAX: Do you remember what date that was?
JACKSON: No. (laughs) She told me the other night that's she'sbeen on her own in her practice now for about ten years. 00:09:00So she started in '82 in her own practice and she served four years in the military after she graduated from it. So it was probably about '78 when she graduated because she couldn't really afford to go into her own practice when she came out with her dental degree. And so she decided to go into the military because she could go in there as a captain. And try to secure some money and so forth and then go into practice.
MULLINAX: Okay. And then you--with your education what did you--
JACKSON: Well, I did my first year. I guess I startedin '67 and went to Austin Peay State University one of the OVC schools. Located in Clarksville, Tennessee and then I joined the Air Force, the military for four years.
MULLINAX: When was that? That you joined--
JACKSON: In '68.
JACKSON: And spent four years in the Air Force and thenI got out in '72 and went back to Austin Peay. Finished 00:10:00my BS. First when I started--I started as a math major and then I transferred, when I came back, over into agriculture and biology. So I had two majors. I had a ag major and biology major when I finished. I started here in '75 working--
MULLINAX: At UK.
JACKSON: At UK '75 to '77 working on masters. I tookoff for a year and a half. Went back to farm. Came back in '79 and started working on my PhD and finished my PhD in '82.
MULLINAX: So you've got your PhD here at--
MULLINAX: --at UK? And what about your--your next?
JACKSON: Brenda started Austin Peay during the time that I wasthere. It was probably in about '75 and she had her--she went through ROTC and she got her degree in sociology. So when she 00:11:00finished not being able to find a job in sociology, she went--went with her military training. And she went on into the military and she came up through the ranks and now she is, as I say, is a major in the Army. She's still in the Army.
JACKSON: And she served in Saudi, last year. Yeah. And shejust got back from that I guess it was like--like late April or May of this past--of this year. And Donna went to Austin Peay for a year or so and then she got married to a fellow that was in the Marines. And--no, he was going to Austin Peay at that time and he was also in ROTC and when he finished, he went on into the Marines. And she finished her degree wherever they were located. So she does have her BS 00:12:00now. And Renae just finished--Renae is the baby. She married a fellow that was in the Navy and she just finished her BS this past year and graduated.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. In?
JACKSON: Don't ask me what in.
MULLINAX: Really? Okay. I'm not sure I could--I could give ahistory of my family that well. Let's, let's go back to your--the place where you were born.
MULLINAX: Was that on a farm?
JACKSON: No. Hopkinsville is kind of the next largest town closeto where we live. Where we live is a town of about three hundred and fifty people, very small town. So Hopkinsville is just the next largest town. I think it maybe has twelve thousand or so as far as the population. And so it was the larger, the big city, you know.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. You were born in Hopkinsville?
MULLINAX: And then--what--what were your parents doing there?00:13:00
JACKSON: They were--
MULLINAX: They were working on the farm?
JACKSON: They were farming at our little home town in Trenton.We were farming at the time that I was born if that's what you are--you are--
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Um-hm.
JACKSON: Okay. Yes, we were farming.
MULLINAX: Okay. And what was that farm like?
JACKSON: Primarily dairy and we raised grain as well. At thetime that I was born we probably only owned about a hundred and twenty acres at that time. And we raised tobacco. Probably about maybe three acres of tobacco and I don't know how many acres of corn, but anyway it was all to support the dairy. So many acres of alfalfa and corn.
MULLINAX: So you're saying that you used the products on--
MULLINAX: --the farm.
MULLINAX: You didn't sell--
JACKSON: Most of the, at that time, no we did notsell. We just used them going back into the dairy.
MULLINAX: And how--what kind of production, dairy production, did you have?How many?
JACKSON: Oh, I don't remember. This was calling back from when00:14:00I was about five or so years old and we were still mixing up the ----------(??) at that point with the cans and all that stuff. We were probably milking about twenty cows and I have no idea what type of production we were getting at the time.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Okay. Where did the farm come from? How didyour father get the farm?
JACKSON: I think his father had purchased it back before hecame back from the military and then his father died. And dad and mom, I think, his father died probably about the time he got back from--from the Army.
MULLINAX: From World War II?
JACKSON: Right. From World War II and--
MULLINAX: Do you remember when that was at all? Have anyidea when he--
JACKSON: When they purchased--
JACKSON: --the farm? No.00:15:00
JACKSON: No. No idea. And I know that Mom and Dadgot a--did have to finish paying for the farm. So there some payments they had to make for that farm.
MULLINAX: To the person that your father--your grandfather bought it fromor?
JACKSON: I would suppose. I know that they were making paymentsprobably to the Farmers Home Administration or someone at that time. And I can remember them paying it off probably by the time that I was about maybe eighteen or nineteen. Something like that.
MULLINAX: Do you remember where your grandfather got the farm orwhat he did before he--
JACKSON: How they--
MULLINAX: --before he got it?
JACKSON: --acquired it?
JACKSON: Not really. I can remember dad telling me that hisfather was primarily share-cropping on different farms around through the area and that--no I don't know exactly how they acquired the farm.
MULLINAX: Okay. Then your grandfather bought it and then he passed00:16:00on and your dad--
MULLINAX: Okay. Was it willed to your father or how didthat work?
JACKSON: I have no idea. He's never really--or maybe he didand I just forgot, but I don't recall how he acquired the farm.
MULLINAX: Did your father have siblings?
JACKSON: He had one sister. He had two sisters. One diedfairly young and then the other sister was--she lived in Hopkinsville. I was trying to remember when you asked me about the other siblings, how they decided that he was going to get the farm and so forth. But I don't remember.
MULLINAX: Okay. What about the farm when your dad passes on?What is going to happen to the farm? Have you discussed that?
JACKSON: Yes, we have. We decided at that time that I00:17:00would probably acquire the farm, but I would pay--have to pay all four of them X number of dollars based on how valuable someone else determined that the farm was. At that time, we also had talked about if I wanted any equipment that I would have to purchase that, but now that the equipment is sold any equipment that I would get. I'd have to just purchase on my own.
MULLINAX: Okay. So your father retired--
JACKSON: He retired.
MULLINAX: --last year at seventy-two?
JACKSON: This year still.
MULLINAX: Okay. And when did you decide to talk about thosethings or what brought that?
JACKSON: It's been two years now since we discussed it. Wejust decided it was time to have a family meeting and discuss those kind of things, because we had seen too many situations where at the death of the, like my father, that--that then there was always this continuous strife and fighting among the heirs. So we decided to sit down and talk about that and hopefully eliminate some of 00:18:00that stuff.
MULLINAX: Did everybody in the family gather around and--
MULLINAX: --talk about this?
JACKSON: Mom, Dad and all my sisters.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Was it a pretty unanimous decision or was theretrouble deciding?
JACKSON: No, there was no trouble deciding, because I know whatfarming is all about. They grew up working on the farm. So they know what farming is all about and I know that me inheriting the farm and having to pay then for the farm is not going to be a gimme. It's going to be--
MULLINAX: You are going to be paying them the--
MULLINAX: --or your sisters?
JACKSON: Right. X amount of dollars for their four fifths.
JACKSON: So even though it's--Mom and Dad wanted to make surethat the farm stayed intact and that it did stay in the family in one group. And they felt that if they were to pass on and not have something concrete and under--that we understood that this is what was going to happen that--that all it takes is 00:19:00one of the heirs to decide they want their money and then the whole thing has to be sold. So that's what we were trying to prevent.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Have you consulted a lawyer then and set thisin writing or?
JACKSON: Mom and Dad were supposed to have talked about itand consulted with the lawyers and they were kind of telling us what they had decided and this is what we were going to do primarily.
JACKSON: So that's why there wasn't a whole lot of arguingabout it. It's just a matter of--of--they had discussed it with all of us prior to that anyway.
JACKSON: And so it was just kind of a this iswhat we've done. This is how we decided to do it and this is the way we started out here and so see if you agree with this. And we want all of these things--this to go to you and this to go to so forth. And so that's kind of the way it was.
MULLINAX: What's the farm like now? How has it changed sincewhen--your--your first memories of, of the farm? 00:20:00
JACKSON: Well, as I say, when I first remember was aboutfive years old and we milked in an old stanchion barn at that time and that old expansion barn is no there.
MULLINAX: What is an stanchion barn?
JACKSON: Well, it's a--kind of a long building that the cowscan come in and put their heads into--into what is called stanchion. And they--their head is held into a stanchion. And you can usually get about twelve or so into that long line of stanchions. And that's called stanchion barns. And the way they had it designed is that we pipeline--the pipes for it were located up above so you had a place to hook for your vacuum. And then you milked the milk into the bucket. And you had to take the bucket from there into what was called a milk room that was kind of located adjacent to the stanchions and then dump the milk into the cans. And so that was what was called stanchion barn. You--you see a lot of those up north and they were probably down in this area. You don't see that many anymore and then we 00:21:00moved to a--a what is it called? A double in-line barn. Where we could milk two on each side at a time and it had the pipe-lines, because when they changed to the standard for grade A. It said that you had to have it so that you didn't actually handle the milk by hand.
JACKSON: That it had to go straight from there through thepipelines into the tank. And so then when we moved there, I don't remember what year that was. That was probably about maybe ten or twelve--it was probably about 1960 or so. And milked there for--until I came back from Vietnam I think. So that would have been about '72 and then we moved into a different parlor. We built a third parlor that was a double for ----------(??) on post that is more up-to-date as far as the way people are milking cows 00:22:00now.
MULLINAX: How did your father finance--Well, first of all how didhe learn about these new technologies?
JACKSON: Dad was, Dad was very creative and he always readand he looked at something and see the way that particular piece of equipment was designed and go back and make it himself. So he did a lot of things to save as far as money was concerned and he was a very intelligent man. So he was able to glean those things that were necessary and then put them into action at a lower cost than what it would have taken to buy that piece of equipment new or something. And so--it's just--he was very lucky, you know, because I think it takes a little bit of luck you know for those things. And at that time farm prices even though the price you were getting for your product it--the cost of buying a farm wasn't that expensive. I can-- 00:23:00
MULLINAX: Back in what period?
JACKSON: Oh, you're talking about the fifties, late fifties, early sixties.And I can remember probably about in '58 or so we started getting Mennonite and Amish moving into our area. Land prices had been, say, like a hundred, hundred and twenty dollars an acre, but when they shot up to like three hundred dollars an acre people thought that was outrageous for three hundred dollars an acre. And, of course, now three hundred dollars an acre seems very, very cheap.
JACKSON: So he purchased more property--had opportunities to buy even otherproperty, but he didn't want to extend himself with only one son. I imagine if he had had two or three sons we probably had even more acreage.
MULLINAX: How much did he end up--or what is the farm,farm size now?
JACKSON: Okay. Let's see, a hundred and twenty, seventy-five, two hundred.00:24:00He's probably got about two hundred and fifty acres right around in the area where he lives, but at sometimes we had owned another three hundred acres that he decided to sell back to the fellow because of problems. And at times we had worked, the between the, you know, the land that we were working, not owned all of it up to say a thousand acres. Just he and I and mom and maybe one other worker person.
MULLINAX: So you leased part of that?
JACKSON: We leased. We rented. Things like that.
JACKSON: We had one farm that we rented that was aboutthree hundred acres. Two farms that we rented that were about three hundred acres and that was during the time that we also owned that other three hundred. So about two and three is five and three and three is six. We were farming about a thousand acres there.
MULLINAX: And what all were you planting on that?
JACKSON: Beans, corn, wheat.00:25:00
MULLINAX: Um-hm. What kind of equipment did you have then torun--
JACKSON: At that time, our largest tractor was a 30/20 JohnDeere, sixty-seven horsepower.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. What--
JACKSON: So we--
MULLINAX: --what period was this again?
JACKSON: This was--
MULLINAX: Try to anchor all of this in time.
JACKSON: --this was up till '68 when I left. So you'retalking about '65, '66, '67. Up through that period.
MULLINAX: Did you--I know we're kind of moving around on topicshere, but did--did your father change his land? What he had or what rented? What he leased when you left?
MULLINAX: Did that fluctuate a lot?
MULLINAX: Can you tell me about that?
JACKSON: They kind of cut back on how much they werefarming at the time that I left. Like I say, during--up until that time we were farming as much as a thousand acres, but at the time that I left, we, let's see, he--primarily two hundred--probably cut back to about five hundred acres as far as how much 00:26:00they were farming. At the time they still only owned about two hundred at that time. And so--yeah. Because they let the other two farms go.
JACKSON: And they bought larger equipment even.
MULLINAX: In the--
JACKSON: In that period?
MULLINAX: What kind of things did they--
JACKSON: --as I say our large tractor up until that timewas a 30/20 John Deere. He bought a 40/20 John Deere which is about ninety horse power and then during that time afterwards John, the fellow that he hired for him to do the milking, they decided to go into partnership. I guess that was probably '68, '72. Between '78 and '80. And so then they bought a 44/30 John Deere between the two of them together. And that probably is rated 00:27:00about a hundred and twenty horse power, twenty to thirty. Something like that. Um-hm. And so they had a hundred and thirty horsepower tractor. A ninety horsepower tractor and they still had the--the 30/20 John Deere. And he had a David Brown that was probably fifty horsepower. And then a Massey-Ferguson that's about sixty-five horsepower. And so they had about five or so tractors that they were using. It always struck me interesting that they--they still made it but they had--they took all of those tractors to replace me (laughs).
MULLINAX: Why do you think that is? Why do you thinkthey--
JACKSON: Oh, it was just because when all of us kidswere home we could--we could do it a lot longer.
JACKSON: And so--
JACKSON: --where as--as things got more modern and everything I thinkthey was trying for speed to get things done quickly. 00:28:00
MULLINAX: Where did--where did your--your dad learn about? You said heread at lot. What kind of things did he read to learn?
JACKSON: Some of the farm magazines. Plus he still took thenight courses as far as the and I do remember where he took those, because I went with him once in a while. They were kind of vocational training type things and he took those in Pembroke at one of the high schools. And one of the fellows--I think he was probably either like a county agent or a vo ag teacher was teaching that. And he was probably from Christian County, Hopkinsville. Somewhere in that area. So he continued to keep up with these--he stayed close to his county agent. He keeps up with all the new varieties, the new techniques and all those things as they come out. So he stays abreast of the--of farming techniques.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. What kind of relationship does he have with hisextension agent? You said that he--
JACKSON: Very close.
MULLINAX: --is very close?
MULLINAX: Why do you think that is? Or how--what kind ofreputation does the extension agent have in the local-- 00:29:00
JACKSON: I can remember, as I say, back from early whenI was five and six and eight, nine years old. The county agent that we had at that time he and dad had a very close relationship. I guess dad realized the advantage of being close the people that had the information or, you know, where the information would come from very quickly. So his name was Stanley Halleck (??) back at the time I was growing up.
JACKSON: The ag extension agent and Stanley showed cattle, registered Holstein.And so he and dad would do things together as far as their farming practices. And, you know, dad would let him use his truck or something like that and dad would get cattle from Stanley when Stanley didn't--no longer wanted them. So they would be very good quality cattle. So, you know, it was just a matter of a way that he could get a better quality cattle into our herd. 00:30:00And they--as far back as I can remember he always used AI as well.
MULLINAX: Used what?
JACKSON: Artificial insemination--
MULLINAX: Oh, okay.
JACKSON: --for his cattle. And so he's tried to stay abreastof those type of practices as well. Even though we had a bull on the farm that we used for what is called a clean up bull and that's to breed the cows that you don't settle with AI. And so--And as I say he's tried to stay abreast of all of those practices. And then he and Marvin, our county agent now, when we have our dairy meetings dad would always travel to the dairy meetings with Marvin. And he was about one of the only Todd County farmers that would, you know, continually travel, you know, to the dairy meetings and so forth.
MULLINAX: Your dad was?
JACKSON: And the rest of our farmers were mainly Mennonite bythe time that, dairy farmers, by the time that, say, '72 or 00:31:00'3 something like that. And there were very few black dairy farmers left and no other black dairy farmer.
MULLINAX: No other?
MULLINAX: Did your--did your dad ever perceive any kind of differenttreatment because of who he was as a farmer? Whether in--from the extension agent? Or the government? Or local grain operators or anything?
JACKSON: Negative or positive?
JACKSON: Either. I don't think so. I think the if itwould have been anything it would probably been more on the positive line, because he had a very good rapport with almost everyone within the county as I can recall growing up. He had a good rapport with the grain dealers and he always stayed very close to them, again, as far as price fluctuations. How things were going. What 00:32:00the trends were doing. So forth and all those type things. He was far better than I when it came to marketing. Okay. It's easy to grow crops and get the stuff, but it's--(laughs)--difficult to get them marketed properly and he was good at that portion as well.
MULLINAX: What made him good at that?
JACKSON: Don't know. I think he--he was telling me about hisgrowing up years and being in the Army and so forth. And he was a good gambler. He said he was a very good gambler when he--and I think it just carried on into his life afterwards that he was a good gambler.
MULLINAX: He could place his bets.
JACKSON: Right. And it always came out in his favor, alot of times. Every once and while he'd get caught but most of the time he did a good job.
MULLINAX: What about the--the partnership he had with this other person--
MULLINAX: --how did that develop? Was this person white?
JACKSON: John was Mennonite and so when John started in '68,as I say, when I left. John is the same caliber of 00:33:00person that my father is in that he also reads a lot. He strives to have things be the best. And if John had a problem it was trying to do too many new things at one time. Tried to have too many new things on the cutting edge, you know, because everything that came out he'd want to try it. "Well, let's do that. Let's do that. Let's do that." Okay. Which, as I say, dad kept up with those things, but he also would observe some of those people that had put them into practice to see how they were doing before he put them into practice. Okay. And so--
MULLINAX: He's a little bit more cautious.
JACKSON: Right. He's a little bit more cautious. Whereas, John hewas younger and he was more ambitious, you know, and he was just trying to get these things going. But I would say that they would--both had those type of characteristics. And after John had farmed 00:34:00there I think it was probably about 8 or 10 years he had acquired enough that he felt like he wanted more. And dad felt like that he needed to be more responsible for these decisions that he was going to make. If they went into partnership then the decisions he made would affect him as well as dad, you know, so--and it's different making decisions when they affect your pocketbook--
JACKSON: --I think. And so dad felt like it would begood for them both at that time when they went into the partnership.
MULLINAX: And that was, you told me, but I--
JACKSON: I think it was around '72.
MULLINAX: Okay. And what is the age difference between--between them?
MULLINAX: Your dad and John? Yeah.
JACKSON: John is about my age. He's a year younger thanI am, I think. So at that time John was in his 30's. Yeah. I think John is a year younger than me.
MULLINAX: How did they--how did they come together again?00:35:00
JACKSON: Dad, no, mom had--was trying to find someone to dothe milking and she had located--someone had told her about John and he was down in Tennessee at that time. I can't remember the name or the little place where he--he was, but they were still doing things--see, there's different orders of being Amish. You have this one group of Amish they can use tractors or Mennonites--
JACKSON: --but they can't--Okay. Wait a minute. You've got one group.They can use the engine from the tractors and they can use mules, but they can't actually use a tractor. You've got the other group that can use the tractors, but they--they still use the horse and buggies on Sundays. Then you got another group that can use cars and they can use tractors, but they just have to plain, you know. So you've got different degrees of being-- 00:36:00
JACKSON: --Amish or Mennonite or whatever you want to call it.And so John was working at one of those places where you had to do it with the mule and you couldn't have the tractors. You could have the engines sitting stationary, but you couldn't have the tractor with the wheels on it. He was looking for a place to move. At that time it was he and his wife and, I think, they either had one or two children at the time. And so he was wanting to do something better. And then mom located him through someone else and she went and talked to him. And, I think, she saw what caliber person he was and they just decided to give it a try so they did. And John is a super individual. He couldn't have asked for a better person. He now has his own dairy after, I guess, it's been maybe three years now, four now, that they decided to dissolve the 00:37:00partnership and John took his half of the cows and started his own dairy.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. How did this partnership work? Can you--
JACKSON: It worked good.
MULLINAX: --detail that farming? I mean what kind of--
MULLINAX: --mechanics did--
MULLINAX: --it have?
JACKSON: John bought into the cows as far as half thecows. The tractors and equipments that they had purchased. Dad had some equipment that was his still, but then, as I say, the 44/30 they bought it together. The silage choppers, the rake, most of the things that were associated with the dairy and those things they had to support the dairy that type of equipment. The round baler, they bought those things in partnership. Anything new that they had to buy--they bought it--they had a separate account that they would put the money into and then buy the things that they needed from that account. 00:38:00The feed, all of the feed was split 50/50. Whatever grain that they raised it was raised in the same manner. John did the work but you know everything was 50/50 as far as the costs and so forth.
JACKSON: And so then everything went into the one big pooland then they split their halves out of the large pool.
MULLINAX: Interesting. What were your aspirations during the time towards thefarm?
MULLINAX: None. (laughs)
JACKSON: Oh, shoot.
MULLINAX: So you started when you were a young child working,you and your sisters, would work--
MULLINAX: --on the farm. What was--can you tell me about the divisionof labor there?
MULLINAX: Kind of--
JACKSON: I was responsible for a lot of the field work.In the evening when we came in from school I was responsible for feeding silage and making sure that the cows and calves were fed. In the morning before we went to school I was responsible 00:39:00for feeding the baby calves that had to be fed milk and the growing calves that had been weaned that had to have grain and so forth.
MULLINAX: Before school you did that?
JACKSON: Before school.
MULLINAX: What kind of time are we talking about?
JACKSON: Very quick. Yes, I can remember going to school alot of time and having cow manure--having cow poop on my shoes. Yes. It was good training.
MULLINAX: Good--a side shoot there, where did you go to school?Was it in the small--
JACKSON: We went to a black grade school and things weren'tintegrated I guess up until when? '63, they integrated. That was the year that I started high school. So our class was the first class to go through all four years at an integrated high school in our county. So--
MULLINAX: Do you have strong memories of that?
JACKSON: No. My strongest memories are more of the grade school.00:40:00When I look back it's surprising to me or interesting to me that I could have progressed considering the type of training I had to begin with, because you think everything had to be built on a foundation. My foundation wasn't worth a crap, and still isn't. (laughs)
MULLINAX: Yeah. What was it like there?
JACKSON: Not very good. You're talking about one teacher teaching threeand four grades and there was--from one through eighth there were three teachers and sometimes only two. And so you would learn things like discipline and you learn things like--you learn some of the things that you should have as far as your--your basic tools. But it's understandable why a lot of black kids aren't able to read because they just didn't really have the training at that time. It's understandable why a lot of black kids weren't able to add properly, you know. 00:41:00As far--as far as I say, looking at myself and my sister, it's surprising that we did as well as we did considering the background, the foundation.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. You and your older sister basically went through--
JACKSON: And by the time the younger girls came along theywere growing through integrated grade schools and so forth which was a blessing.
MULLINAX: Oh, so you saw a definite quality improvement?
JACKSON: (laughs) To say the least. Yes.
MULLINAX: Okay. Back to the chores on the farm, what didthe girls do?
JACKSON: My older sister was responsible for milking in the evening.So she did the milking in the evening and I fed silage. The younger sisters never had to work as hard as we worked. They still had to do some of the things that we did. Suz--Susan the older sister, she never really had to do that much field work because, as I said, that was my job. But dad did have them to do certain jobs. Like he would have them 00:42:00bush hogging. I can remember my next younger sister disking and crying every time she had--(laughs)--she had to do it, but they still had to do certain types of chores.
JACKSON: But nothing like what Sue and I had to do.
MULLINAX: What about your mom versus your dad? What kind ofdivision was there in terms of the--
MULLINAX: --chores that they did?
JACKSON: I grew up basically from one to five in mymom's lap on the tractor and so that's the kind of the way it was. If he was in the field, she was in the field with him. When he was milking, she was milking with him. And so up until the time that she decided to seek other employment she was--she helped on the farm. And she always did the books as long as I can remember and so she was behind all of the financing. As far as do we have enough 00:43:00money to do this or--or have we got all of these things together for income taxes? She did all of those things. And so she always paid the finances. If we were baling hay, she drove the tractor and dad and I loaded the wagon. So it was just always a family type--
MULLINAX: What about inside the house?
JACKSON: As far as--
MULLINAX: In terms of cooking, cleaning and raising the kids?
JACKSON: Mom did all of that. The cooking, the cleaning andtaught me how to cook and she taught me how to clean. Although, she taught how to cook better than clean. (laughs)
MULLINAX: What about your dad did he have--
MULLINAX: --on the inside?
JACKSON: No. Their marriage was a typical farm type marriage. Hewas the boss. She was the slave, you know, not slave. She was the submissive woman and so that's what worked for them. 00:44:00
MULLINAX: What's her family's background like? Were her parents farmers?
JACKSON: No. Her parents lived in town. Her father worked forthe railroad and her mother worked house work. She did cooking, cleaning and all of those things.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Do you know how they met?
JACKSON: My grandparents?
MULLINAX: No, your parents.
JACKSON: My parents.
MULLINAX: Did they--did they live in town near each other.
JACKSON: She lived in town he, you know, of course, livedout on the farm. He came to town quite often. There are about three little towns around there Trenton is here, Belfry is here and Elkins here and then Hopkinsville would be way over here. Okay.
[Pause in recording.]
JACKSON: She was wanting to go to a ball game andthe ball game was in Elkins which was I say over here. So he said that he would take her to this ball game and so she supposedly said well she'd pay him for taking her 00:45:00to this ball game. But then he took her to the ball game and they talked a few times even after that even though she was very young. And that she said that she had--supposedly my father had a reputation with the women and she had heard about his reputation with the women at that time. And she was like, "Oh, that didn't make any difference to her," because I guess she was her own woman or whatever, but anyway they just started seeing one another and things--things at home for my momma I think weren't that great. And so she was looking for some way out.
JACKSON: And so I think that is what she saw asher way out was getting married to my father and possibly being her own woman.
MULLINAX: Did she have a large family that she came from?
JACKSON: Four sisters.
JACKSON: Well, three sisters. She was four. She was the oldestand apparently she was kind of picked on within the family. 00:46:00
MULLINAX: Ready to get out, huh?
MULLINAX: Okay. Let's see where was I? The house that you--thatyou lived in what was it like? You had five--
MULLINAX: --five kids?
JACKSON: Well, it changed. There was an old two-story frame housethat we started in and then they built the new house, again, probably when I was about six they built a house. Tore the old frame house down and completely built--
MULLINAX: Why did they do that? Just--was it--
JACKSON: Don't know.
MULLINAX: --run down or?
JACKSON: It was kind of old house.
MULLINAX: Do you remember it?
JACKSON: Yes, I remember the snakes. (laughs)
MULLINAX: Under the porch or inside?
JACKSON: Under the porch and sometimes they would be inside andsometimes they would be in the upstairs portion. But they--there was snakes that would come in the house and that was a great thing 00:47:00when they told that old house down and built the new one. No more snakes.
MULLINAX: Yeah. What was the new house like then? You knowwhen they built it?
JACKSON: I think I was six at that time when theybuilt it and it was before all the little sisters had started. See because my grandmother took care of my older sister up until she started school and then she also spent the summers there.
MULLINAX: Where was that?
JACKSON: This was in Pembroke.
JACKSON: And so I was kind of an only child upuntil--well, during the summers and up until I guess about six or seven years old. And then when I was seven that's when they started having the other kids. So they could have been part of it. See they don't discuss those things with you when you are only five years old.
JACKSON: And they could have been planning on expanding the familyand they needed a way--
MULLINAX: More room.
MULLINAX: Why did your sister stay in Pembroke with your father's00:48:00mother?
JACKSON: Right. Just because of the--so it would give mom anddad that ability to do the things that they needed to do to keep the farm going.
JACKSON: They have one less person.
MULLINAX: What about the house that they built? What was--can youdescribe it physically to me?
JACKSON: Yeah. It was one of the one story real spreadout kind of things and it's been added on to no telling how many times, five or six times over the years that I can remember. And--
MULLINAX: So it was built like in '56.
MULLINAX: Something like that.
JACKSON: Maybe '55, '56. Somewhere in there. And the other--other thingdad was very good with--with building and so--
MULLINAX: New kid. New addition. That kind of thing.
JACKSON: He and my uncle could take care of most ofthe things that were necessary as far as building the house, barns. I can remember we built barns together and all of those things. Again it was a way in which we could keep costs down 00:49:00because we had--we would go back and cut the timber and then take them to the saw mill and have them saw them the way he wanted them sawed. Let them season and then bring them back and then use those timbers and you don't have a lot invested.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Pretty self-sufficient then?
MULLINAX: How many rooms were in the house when you werebrought up? I guess that changed over time?
JACKSON: It changed, yes, one, two, three, four, five. It startedwith only five rooms and a bathroom. And then it grew into--by the time it ended, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven,--we have seven rooms and two baths, but there--is that right? Or is it eight? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Eight and two 00:50:00bathrooms.
MULLINAX: How many bedrooms then were there or how did--one ofthe things that we're interested in is how many people slept in room--in each room? How--
MULLINAX: --do you remember how that--
JACKSON: And that changed because when it was just me andmy sister we had our own rooms. And then when the other three girls came that's when they added on again, back in the back. And the girls had a room, I had a room and Sue had a room. So the three of them were in a room. Sue had a room and then I had a room. But then Sue moved out and so the girls could switch around and then I moved out--so they had--all three had rooms. So that--that changed.
MULLINAX: What--what about the community in--in your--in your background. What kindof community did you belong to when you were growing up with 00:51:00your parents? What kind of community?
JACKSON: It was a very small community as I have mentionedearly. And when you say kind you mean, kind of, how the people were in the community?
JACKSON: It was a kind of a quiet type community andpeople--there was a lot of competitiveness within the people in the community and they compete on all levels. If--if your father had three hundred acres and my father only had two hundred acres then you were better than me. That type thing.
JACKSON: And so that competed on who had more acres? Whohad more land? How long the land had been in their families and things like that? And all of those things made a big difference. As far as the racial thing black versus white. There were, you know, again that was a different place to compete, you know, 00:52:00because I can remember my friends having their fights with their little white friends, you know. And this would be a daily thing, you know, as far as competing to see who was better. Living out on the farm my job was to work and so I never got to participate in all those--
JACKSON: --harmless little competitions.
MULLINAX: Yeah. So what was the community like in terms of--interms of the racial distribution?
JACKSON: It was mostly white and I would say it wasprobably two thirds white and one third black and mostly the blacks worked for the whites. And so there was as far as--what would you want to term it discrimination or prejudice. There was no real outward overt type of discrimination. It was all, how would you, oh, 00:53:00heck.
MULLINAX: Institutional. I guess just the way things were set up.
JACKSON: Right. It was just the way things were set upand no one really bucked the system. And on the sides of the white they didn't really come overtly anti-black type things. It was just more of a thing that having the blacks work for them and having them to--to continue to work for them and hopefully be happy.
JACKSON: Yeah. So--
MULLINAX: So--would you say that there were several communities--that's what Iwas trying to ask you about in terms of kinds of community because you've mentioned community as a whole and then was there a separate white community and a separate black community. In a way that you--your family associated with the black community solely at any time or was there really a mix? 00:54:00
JACKSON: That, too, kind of changed over the years. Now asI was growing up I would say that it was more separate but then as things began to get more and more integrated some of that did change over the years.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Can you tell me how that changed? What--the way--
JACKSON: Such as it would never be thought of for ablack to attend a white church in any manner, you know, because--unless it was to clean up.
JACKSON: So but then I guess oh heck, maybe '70, '72or something in there. Mom and dad started attending what would be termed a predominantly white church. They changed to the Church of Christ. We grew up Baptist and all of those things were separate, you 00:55:00know, because separate schools, separate churches and all those type things and--Even though there were no overt signs of racism as of--the general theme was always there. In other words as long as you were black you were second. Okay.
JACKSON: And so, I think, that probably my family was probablymore instrumental in that than anybody else in our community. My sister was very sharp. And she was always valedictorian, salutatorian, whatever.
JACKSON: Suzy. And she went all the way through high school.She and this other girl Betty Heard were like one and two all the way through. When it came senior year time all of 00:56:00the sudden there came this dark horse person from out of no where that was number one and then Betty became number two and Suzy was number three. And when it came time to, you know, for commencement. This really hurt Susan and the family I think and even the other girl, other white girl, Betty Heard. It hurt her because this other person had taken courses that were much easier, but I think it was the matter of the high school, the principal and those in charge at that time. Just weren't ready to have a black be salutatorian.
JACKSON: And so, you know, there are underlying little things likethat that, you know, kind of piss you off. (laughs)
JACKSON: But you have to overcome those things.
MULLINAX: Was your father or is he now--well, he's obviously a00:57:00recognized person in the community--
JACKSON: He's very involved in a lot of things.
JACKSON: And see they seek him to be on those thingsnow because they did--they didn't have anyone. So that makes the county as a whole look bad. Not having any blacks participating in anything. So just about--he's the on the KDR board which is the Kentucky Dairy Records that we have here. He's on the Farmers Home Administration Board. And so he participates in a lot of those type of things. And like I say they seek him to participate on those type of things and he is well thought of within the community within the white and the black community.
MULLINAX: What does your mom--what kind of involvement does she havewith the community?
JACKSON: She's again, like he is, is involved in a lotof those things. She's been recognized for quite a few things for her achievements over the years. I can't remember--right now she's involved with 00:58:00the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She's one of the officers in that and she's enjoyed that. Although that's not within the community. That is one of the type things that she's involved with but I think she is--she is the chairman at arms or something like that for that group.
MULLINAX: What about this church move? That's interesting that they movedchurches? Do you know anything about that--
JACKSON: It was--
MULLINAX: --or when that was?
JACKSON: It as primarily my mom I think because when wewere growing up and going to the Baptist church again it's kind of like the black school. You could get a training but the foundation just isn't there. And for my dad and for myself and for my mom, too, I think it was kind of lacking, because when you got someone that is your pastor or your teacher that has an eighth grade education and you are, you know, you are 00:59:00already surpassed that. And he's reading it and saying it means this and you're reading it and saying, I don't know whether it says that or not. (laughs)
JACKSON: You know, and you got to think about the timestoo. A lot of those older people they were just--things were passed on by word of mouth which, you know, you can't take that away from the person because that's part of their heritage. But, you know, not really having the knowledge of what it says and this, again, just goes along with the black race of people because there was no one to really teach them those things that were necessary. And as I say to a lot of my white friends, it is difficult to know what it is to grow up black and to know the things about being discriminated again when--when you are just--you can't really touch it, you know.
MULLINAX: Yeah. That is true.
MULLINAX: Was there any tension over that move that you are01:00:00aware of from the black community?
JACKSON: No more, as I say, the black community looked upto mom and dad because they are kind of the--the success story of the community. And dad has always been, as I say, very progressive. So for them to make such a move was viewed by some as their attempt to be white. Okay. You're going to always have that. By others it was just viewed as, I think within her family, mom's family was probably the most critical at times.
MULLINAX: Your mother's family?
JACKSON: Right. Because, as I say, they--they kind of view itas an attempt for--because my momma is a very light skinned person to be white.
MULLINAX: Wow. So many dynamics in all of that isn't there?
JACKSON: Yes. Okay. The black can't be too black and--(laughs)--01:01:00
MULLINAX: What about the difference in--did you notice--
[Pause in recording.]
MULLINAX: I got this. Your father being a farmer and yourfamily being farmers was that typically of the people in the town?
MULLINAX: Did most people live in town and then farm out?
JACKSON: Most of the people within our community were farmers andthey all had farming backgrounds and most of our economy was built around farming in some respect. And so yes that's why I say everything was kind of on the comparison of if my dad's got a thousand acres--
JACKSON: --and your dad's only has five hundred acres then I'mbetter than you.
JACKSON: You know, so--
MULLINAX: Mechanization and all of that too.
JACKSON: Right. And, you know, yeah. They compete on the sizeof the tractors and who's got the biggest tractor and--so--Yeah. It was primarily a farming community and most things were based around the farm. 01:02:00
MULLINAX: One--one more question. We've gone about an hour and maybethe next time we can talk about your farm more explicitly. But do you remember anything about how government policies has effected your dad's farming?
JACKSON: Government policy has been very good to dad and heused every one that he had an opportunity to use. And he taught me how to use everyone that I had an opportunity. So government policies I would say added to our income quite often.
MULLINAX: Can you mention any particular one that was particularly beneficial?
JACKSON: He's participated in them all on up through the setaside programs which I am taking advantage of now, because most of 01:03:00my farm--we've got a farm here and then we've got a farm in Western Kentucky of a hundred and sixty so acres. Most of that I do have in the set aside program. So thereby the conservation reserve, COP. So thereby I can be paid X amount of dollars for those acres that are in the Conservation Reserve Program even though I don't have to farm them.
MULLINAX: So you just leave those--
JACKSON: Right. I do have to do certain conservation practices tothem. I have to mow them every other year and I have to do certain things to them to make sure they enter a grass and legume type forage and make sure that noxious leaves grows on it and all those things. But I'd say that dad has taken advantage of most of the programs. We have gotten quite a few ponds built using cost sharing because they will pay for half of those types of expenses. We've gotten quite a few conservation ways, 01:04:00drainage ways, built on the farm because they share in those type costs fifty/fifty. They used to. They don't any more. During the years of the drought we participated in those emergency disaster type, payment type things. And so I'd say that government programs that have come along we've tried to take advantage of all of them.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Um-hm. Is there anything in particular that you wouldsuggest could better the position of minority farmers in relation to government programs? Is there something, some way that they could help minority farmers more than they do? Do you find that they--they target a lot towards minority farmers?
JACKSON: Not that familiar with any of the government programs rightnow and as far as them being targeted toward minority farmers I don't think--I'm not familiar with them if they are. 01:05:00
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Um-hm. So you--
JACKSON: These programs I was speaking of were programs that wereavailable to everyone and so he took advantage of all of those type programs that were available. And he was familiar with most of them that were available.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. From your knowledge none of them specifically were minoritybased?
JACKSON: That I can recall. There may have been some, butI don't recall any.
MULLINAX: Okay. Well, is there anything that you would like toadd about your--your past experience growing up on your dad's farm. That's really what we covered in this first interview. Mostly your--
JACKSON: The experience growing up on the--
JACKSON: It was hard.
MULLINAX: Was it? Was it hard?
JACKSON: It was very hard. It was--it was physical by inthose times.
JACKSON: But, no, not anything specific that I can think of.
MULLINAX: Well, one thing--one thing, come to think of it, yousaid that you very few aspirations to be, at one point anyway, 01:06:00to--to be back on the farm. How did that change? Or over time did you--when you were a youngster did you--
MULLINAX: --dream of being a farmer or?
JACKSON: I would probably be a farmer right now if Ididn't have better knowledge than to want to be one. (laughs) That's true. I enjoy farming. I love farming much more than I love doing what I'm doing, but I have knowledge enough to know that that farming can't always support me in the manner which I'm supported. So it's better to get you a job that supports you and then you can do your farming as a hobby.
MULLINAX: Um-hm. Did your--did your father ever have any kind ofoff farming employment?
MULLINAX: What did he do?
JACKSON: He worked as a lineman. That's what he was in--whenhe was in the Army. And then when he came back in order to keep income going a lot of times he would work at Fort Campbell as a lineman.
MULLINAX: So he'd go in and out of that kind of01:07:00work?
JACKSON: And I don't remember him doing that after I wasabout six or seven years old. So I don't--
MULLINAX: So then he went full time.
JACKSON: So it was just a matter of trying to keepthe income going to get the farm going enough to--you mentioned the black--black programs.
JACKSON: We ought to talk about that.
JACKSON: When I was growing up I can recall there beingeight or ten black farmers in our area. Right now I doubt if there are one or two. So there were quite a few black farms at that time, but they all, because of one reason or another fell by the wayside. And I think that it's almost at a point now where it's too late to help most of the black farmers. If they haven't either gathered in their families or got something, it's so expensive now to try and get into farming are--I don't see any programs. Any of those types things that would 01:08:00aid anyone to become a farmer.
MULLINAX: Do you think that they are basically different than--than whitefarmers trying to start out or do you think that the race issue is not really important anymore?
JACKSON: I think it's still important, because you've got to havea little bit of help and for the black person it's very difficult for them to have any type help. Most of your white farmers that would be starting are, I'd say, in most cases they are going to have at least some type of capital behind them at least a little bit. Or if they don't, dad does. And so there are very few blacks that can be in that type of situation where they have their capital available to them. And then the other--other part of that would be the knowledge of how to go about doing all of those things. Where the money would be available. What types of equipment they're going to need. What types of 01:09:00facilities they're going to need. All of those type things.
JACKSON: So I think both parts of that.
MULLINAX: So it would also help having a family who's beenin farming in the past?
JACKSON: If they are going to do it and do itsuccessfully, I think so.
MULLINAX: Okay. Anything else?
MULLINAX: Okay. Well, this concludes an interview with James Jackson onDecember 30th of 1991. Thank you.
[End of interview.]