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[1] 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,[1] and it was the culmination of a long effort to secure legislation for their benefit.[1]

The Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act
Long titleAn 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.
Acronyms (colloquial)BJFTA
Enacted bythe 75th United States Congress
EffectiveJuly 22, 1937
Public lawPub. L. 75–210
Statutes at Large50 Stat. 522
Titles amended7 U.S.C.: Agriculture
U.S.C. sections created7 U.S.C. ch. 33 § 1000
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 7562
  • Passed the House on June 29, 1937 (308-25)
  • Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 22, 1937

Management of Bankhead-Jones lands

Both the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management manage some Bankhead-Jones lands. Some Forest Service Bankhead-Jones lands are National Grasslands.

National park

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.[2][3] The park was named for Waycross, Georgia conservationist Laura S. Walker, in recognition of her work promoting forestry and other civic activities.[4] 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.[5]


  1. "Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937". Archived from the original on 2008-03-16.
  2. "Laura S. Walker State Park Established 1941" (PDF). Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  3. 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.
  4. "Laura S. Walker: The Woman Behind the Park". Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  5. "Thirty-six Year Loan Repaid In Five By Rankin County Negro". The New York Age. February 16, 1943.


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