Farmer says USDA official should get her job back

roger spooner inset community

roger spooner inset community

The white farmer who’s part of a controversy involving ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod says he believes she’s been wronged 

“I hope she does get her job back — if she wants it,” Roger Spooner told USA TODAY’s Gregory Korte.

“I don’t think they’ve done it right. But I can see where she’s undecided about what she wants to do,” Spooner said.

Sherrod, the USDA’s director of rural development in Georgia, said she was asked to resign by department officials on Monday after conservative bloggers posted an edited video of her saying that she initially didn’t give a white farmer (Spooner) as much help as she could have 24 years ago. At that time, Sherrod was working for a non-profit farm aid group and was not a federal employee.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that he is reconsidering Sherrod’s dismissal and reviewing her case. Sherrod told our Gannett colleagues at WXIA-TV that she isn’t sure if she would go back to her Ag Department post — even if she is asked.

In the videotaped speech, Sherrod said the farmer from Iron City, Ga., “was trying to show me he was superior to me” when he first came to her non-profit group for help to save his property. Later, she said, she and Spooner got to know each other and became friends.

“I don’t recall I had that attitude,” Spooner told USA TODAY. “That wasn’t my thinking. I was asking for help.”

(Posted by Catalina Camia)

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