Like thousands of other African-American farmers, Dick Morgan often faced difficulties accessing federal farm loans. He was among the Black farmers angered by the U.S. Senate’s failure to approve a nearly $5 billion settlement between the Agriculture Department and minority farmers reached more than 10 years ago last month.

But Morgan, 81, died in August before Black farmers were eligible to receive $50,000 promised in the 1997 Pigford v. Glickman settlement, bringing light to the urgency to an issue the National Black Farmers Association has championed for the past decade. “At a critical moment in the Black farmers movement Mr. Morgan… stepped up and offered his farm as a meeting place for local Black farmers whose lives and work had been affected by discrimination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said NBFA founder and President John Boyd in a letter. “He became a part of our regional efforts and was committed to help take our larger national message to Washington, DC year after year.”

Morgan’s funeral took place Aug. 26 in Dinwiddie, Va.