Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act Law & Legal Definition


The Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act (“Act”) is a U.S. federal legislation enacted in 1937. The Act authorized federal government to acquire damaged lands to rehabilitate and use them for various purposes. The Act also authorized a modest credit program to assist tenant farmers to purchase land.

The Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to develop a program of land conservation and utilization to correct maladjustments in land use. The Secretary is also required to assist in such things as reforestation and the protection of fish and wildlife and natural resources.

To effectuate this program, the Secretary is authorized to: protect, improve, develop and administer acquired property, as well as construct structures to adapt the property to its most beneficial use; sell, exchange, lease or dispose of acquired property; make dedications or grants of land for public purpose and grant licenses and easements; cooperate with federal, state, territorial and other public agencies and nonprofit organizations in developing plans for a program of land conservation and utilization or to conserve and use water for aquaculture; make loans to state and local public agencies and nonprofit organizations; conduct surveys and investigations; disseminate information about activities.

The provisions of the Act are codified at 7 USCS §§ 1000 et seq. This Act has been amended a number of times since its enactment.

The following is an example of a federal statute referring to a provision of the Act:

7 USCS § 1006a. Loans to homestead or desertland entrymen and purchasers of lands in reclamation projects; security; first repayment installment

The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to make a loan or loans for any purpose authorized by and in accordance with the terms of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, as amended, or the Act of August 28, 1937, as amended, to any person eligible for assistance under said Acts who has made or makes a homestead or desertland entry on public land or who has contracted for or contracts for the purchase of other land of the United States in a reclamation project pursuant to the applicable provisions of the homestead and reclamation laws. Any such loans required by the Secretary of Agriculture or by law to be secured by a real-estate mortgage may be secured by a mortgage contract which shall create a lien against the land in favor of the United States acting through the Secretary of Agriculture and any patent thereafter issued shall recite the existence of such lien. The first installment for the repayment of any such loan or any other loan made under the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, as amended, or the Act of August 28, 1937, as amended, to the owner of a newly irrigated farm in a reclamation project or to an entry won under the desertland laws may be deferred for a period of not to exceed two years from the date of the first advance under such loan.