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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Updated and Improved Process to Resolve Discrimination Claims of Hispanic and Women Farmers

 
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01.27.2012
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Updated and Improved Process to Resolve Discrimination Claims of Hispanic and Women Farmers
As part of continued efforts to close the chapter on allegations that discrimination occurred at USDA in past decades, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week improvements to a process announced last February to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans.

The updated claims process increases the maximum cash recovery to $250,000, instead of $50,000.  The process offers a streamlined alternative to litigation for each Hispanic or woman farmer and rancher who can prove that USDA denied their loan or loan servicing for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000.  As announced in February 2011, the voluntary claims process will make available at least $1.33 billion for cash awards and tax relief payments, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief, to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers.  There are no filing fees or other costs to claimants to participate in the program.  Participation is voluntary, and the program does not preclude individuals who opt not to participate from pursuing their cases in court.

 

 

 

 

 

For the full story,
go to USDA's newsroom.

 

 

Audio and video public service announcements in English and Spanish from Secretary Vilsack and downloadable print and web banner ads on the Hispanic and women farmer claims process are available at: http://www.usda.gov/PSAs_Print_and_WebBanner_Ads.xml.


For more information on the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or Soil and Water Conservation Districts, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office or Soil and Water Conservation District.
 

Commitment to Equality
USDA believes every farmer and rancher should be treated equally and fairly, and we are committed to resolving all cases involving allegations of past discrimination by individuals.

Referral Guide for USDA Settlements and Claims Adjudication Process

 

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Claims Adjudication Process
If you believe that USDA improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000 because you are a female or because you are Hispanic, you may be eligible to apply for compensation.  To request a claims package by telephone, call 1-888-508-4429.  To request a claims package online, please visit
www.farmerclaims.gov

Native American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Keepseagle v. Vilsack)
If you are a Native American who was denied a farm loan or loan servicing by the USDA between January 1, 1981, and November 24, 1999, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement.  To request a claims package by telephone, call:  1-888-233-5506.  To request a claims package online, or for more information, please visit: 
www.indianfarmclass.com

African American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Pigford II)
If you are an African American farmer (a) who submitted a request to file a late claim on or between October 13, 1999, and June 18, 2008, under the 1999 USDA settlement in the earlier class action known as Pigford v. Glickman ("Pigford") and (b) who did not receive a merits determination on your discrimination claim, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement.  To hear information by telephone, call 1-866-950-5547 or 1-866-472-7826.  To find information online, please visit: 
www.blackfarmercase.com

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To find out more about this conservation opportunity and more, contact your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service:  Office Locator