What Is The John Boyd Institute?

In testimony before a congressional committee in 2008, John BOyd introduced himself and said “I am Dr. john Boyd. I am President and founder of the National Black Farmers Association, which has more than 94,000 members in 46 states.”

In addition to my strong back in agriculture, I also founded the John Boyd Agricultural and Technology Institute to help educate farmers of all educational levels in order to fight illiteracy. to teach familiarity with and use of the internet, and much more. The program has assisted several thousand farmers and has been expanded to Denmark Technical College.

Boud’s National Black Farmers Association website has a page about John Boyd Argicultural and Technology Institute as well — complete with a photo showing a road sign pointing to the Institute.

In a ’10 Questions’ article in  2009, John Boyd says “Being a visiting professor and forming the John Boyd agriculture and technology institute”

As I was driving through Virginia yesterday, I devided to take a drive my the Boyd Institute and hoped to walk the hallowed halls that has taught thousands of farmers.  Boyd talked about the Boyd Institute so much that I was keen to visit this august institute.

But there’s no there there. Literally.

I went to the campus of St. Paul’s College, a small Christian college in southern Virginia.  There’s no Boyd Institute. The secuirty guard I spoke with had never heard of it but suggested I talk to someone in the administration building. I found a woman who know about it — she told me that Boyd had never taught classes there and that the ‘Institute’ was an office that Boyd kept for a few years that he would sometimes make phone calls from. She said she’d never seen thousands of farmers training there. Or any.

But what about the expanded program at Denmark Technical College in South Carolina that Boyd has told congress about in 2008? I phoned Denmark Tech and was told to visit Boyd’s website.  I asked if there was a john Boyd Institute on campus and was told that they just referred people to the website. I was told Boyd had never taught classes there.

I have no reason to believe that St. Paul’s or Denmark aren’t solid, small schools that do a good job for their students and I don’t want the fact that John Boyd founded pretend John Boyd Institutes at those schools  to cast any aspersions on them. Why did these two colleges ‘host’ the John Boyd Institute? There seems to be a link — a man named John Waddell.

Waddell has the president of St. Pails in 2001, when Boyd claims to have founded the Institute there. Waddell was president of Denmark at the time Boyd claimed to Congress that he had just expanded there. And although I currently have no clear link to Boyd related to the following charges, John Waddell was fired from his position at Denmark after an audit revealed irregularities, inclduing…

…a student recruitment program unlawfully paid for with about $52,000 in federal funds; financial aid given to ineligible students who did not have high school diplomas or GEDs; about $31,000 in fees incurred due to late filing of payroll taxes; and lack of compliance with state codes in the hiring of an Atlanta accounting firm.

I have calls out to both Mr. Boyd and Mr. Waddell for comment about their relationship and for clarification about the real facts about the john Boyd Institute.

Why Does John Boyd Refer To Himself As Dr.?

John Boyd is the president of the National Black Farmer’s Association and has been the main media face of the Pigford settlement for over a decade. He’s been featured on numerous TV shows and in print. He’a been lauded by members of the Congressional Black Caucus and often appears beside them in public appearences. He’s been recognized by President Obama and was present at the private signing ceremony when the Pigford II settlement was signed.

Here’s a question that should be simple to answer — does he actually have a doctorate that allows him to refer to himself in professional situations ad Dr. John Boyd?

Hours of research show many contradictions in the way Boyd refers to himself but so far, I’ve found no evidence whatsoever that Boyd ever received any degree, either earned or honorary, much less any doctorate.

In testimony before the House of Representatives in 2008, he refers to himself as Dr. John Boyd .

But Boyd’s bio from Gale Contemporary Black Biography says the hollowing.

Education: Attended Southside Community College, 1983, and Clemson Univ., 1984-85.

Boyd’s Wikipedia entry makes no mention at all of any kind of doctorate nor does his biography on The Huffington Post.

Boyd’s own personal page refers to him as Dr. but there’s no mention of a doctorate of any kind on his biography page on the same site, despite a long list of his accomplishments. One of those listed accomplishments is thsat he was”vetted by President Obama’s transition team as a candidate for Secretary of Agriculture“.

When Anderson Cooper 360 brought in John Boyd to call Steve King a racist for questioning the numbers in Pigford, Cooper referred to him as Dr. three times. CNN describes the segment as…

“Rep. Steve King and Dr. John Boyd face off over proposed settlements for black farmers and whether fraud is a problem.”

This video report says that Boyd has a PhD in Agricultural Economics.

Maybe one degree that I can’t find any record of isn’t enough — let’s make it two! The Washington Post, in an article on Boyd, says he “didn’t attend college but has received two honorary degrees “

The announcement for Boyd’s recent press conference refers to him as Dr. John Boyd and he referred to that way at the press conference.

Yes, I haven’t seen a single article, press release or other information that shows where, when or why John Boyd began calling himself Dr. John Boyd.

I have left several messages for Boyd, sent him an email and received no response.

I spoke to Georgia farmer Lucious Abrams, who has known Boyd for over fifteen years.  Iasked why Boyd refers to himself as Dr. — Mr. Abrams’s told me “Well, that’s the million dollar question.” Abrams said he has no idea why Boyd began calling himself Doctor.

(Thanks to Laura and Mandy for their research on this.)

Interview : Lila Rose, Founder Of Live Action

Want some controversy? The issue of abortion combines deeply held views on politics, religion, culture, sex and people’s own personal experiences.

Recently Lila Rose her ‘new media action’ group Live Action stirred up a hornet’s nest by doing hidden camera video reports meant to damage Planned Parenthood. They sent in people saying they were a pimp and underage prostitute and the first video they released showed the Planned Parenthood employee in New Jersey enthusiastically helping conceal illegal activity and even making business suggestions. Planned Parenthood fired the employee after the video came out but also tried to switch the focus back onto Live Action.

This 13 minute interview discusses a number of issues surrounding this story. I’m personally pro-choice but this topic brings up a number of issues about journalism and activism that I think are interesting.

Downloadable MP3