USDAThousands of Hispanic and female farmers have been offered a billion dollar settlement from the government in hopes of resolving their claims that they were discriminated against by the USDA.

The proposed $1.3 billion settlement comes just one year after the government settled similar claims with American Indians and black farmers over racial discrimination. Like the Indian and black famers, the Hispanic and female farmers claim local USDA offices denied them loans and other assistance that routinely went to white male farmers between 1981 and 2000.

The USDA announced last month it would set aside $1.3 billion to pay up to $50,000 to each plaintiff that could prove “wrongful treatment.” The Hispanic and female farmers have the choice to take the settlement, or they can choose to continue with their lawsuits. Some of the farmers say $50,000 is not enough to cover the losses they suffered from the alleged discrimination. Lawyers for both the women and Hispanic farmers said their clients deserve more money. To put it into perspective, Indian farmers were offered up to $250,000 each to settle their USDA discrimination claims.

Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack said any Hispanic and women farmers who are not pleased with the settlement can sill pursue their cases against the government.

“The Obama administration has made it a priority to resolve all claims of past discrimination at USDA, and we are committed to closing this sad chapter in USDA’s history,” Vilsack said. “Women and Hispanic farmers and ranchers who allege past discrimination can now come forward to participate in a claims process in which they have the opportunity to receive compensation.”

UPDATE: The USDA posted an update on March 12, 2014 stating that it is “committed to ensuring the integrity and impartiality of the claims process. A neutral, third party has been tasked with overseeing all aspects of the process, including notifications, to make certain that it is fair and equitable.” While vague, the update seems to indicate that claims are being processed. You can check the status of your claim here: www.farmerclaims.gov/Status.aspx

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33 Comments

  • Anonymous April 7, 2011

    USDA Reaches Hispanic and Female Farmer Settlement
    I am a female farmer who did not know about the class action law suit. How could I add my name to the list? or find out how I might become involved

  • Anonymous October 28, 2011

    sent paper work in for faem loan and never was contacted, when called for loan was not able to get any answer on loan eligibility, I own 10 acre’s and hve the farm land to use.

  • Sherri Tsoodle January 22, 2013

    Yes, I also did not know about this law suit. Just another point of discrimination through our USDA office of non-notification for programs, subsidy’s and assistance. How can I find out more about this lawsuit?

  • Delois Morrow February 3, 2013

    requesting application. any information on how to file claim will be appreciated..thank you.

  • Ramona Thornton March 8, 2013

    My Mother Rosie Greer and grandmother Lousie Williams was both black female farmer how can I get there names on the List. Because I didn’t know anything about the black female farmer lawsuit. My e-mail is ramonathornton@att.net and my address is 3304 epps rd. Tchula Ms 39169 (662-235-0360) Cell (662-897-0283).

  • Barbara Kempa March 17, 2013

    I just happened upon this information by accident last week. I am very disappointed that in no way was I attempted to be contacted for this. I applied as a female first time farmer for a 29 acre farm next to our home. I did 2 or 3 different work ups for my application so that I would qualify for the loan. They took the information and never let me know that I wasn’t qualified until after they sold the property. After looking at why I was denied I contacted the office and got a run around on the answer. I let them know this was not right and no one ever got back to me on this situation. No matter what how can anyone say they would contact people if I am at the same address and still very easy for someone to reach. I see this as an outward sign of hiding information. Let alone I am the one who has to show the burden of proof in the case. This was so long ago, I may have disposed of all the paper work. I am disgraced that not only do I have no time left to find the information, but because of the outcome of that time, my life has been severely changed due to husbands illness and this negative turn of advents.

  • Cynthia March 21, 2013

    I have been reading your comments and it just makes me more determined to try and get a group of us together to participate in setting the discrimination wrongs right. I need to point out that the matter at hand was not granted “class action status” like the black farmers and Indian lawsuits were. It is my opinion that the reason for this is that the (Department of Justice which is the agency behind this) USDA would have to pay out a lot more money if this were a class action. The language states “may receive a settlement of up to $50,000″ in this case – then again you may receive absolutely nothing. As in the other cases there were no legal fees, but in this case an attorney can charge you $1,500 or 8%. As in the other cases there were a number of extension periods. This case the deadline is March 25, 2013 period! On and on it goes…..
    The deadline for submitting your claims form is Monday, March 25, 2013; however, the UDSA had a timeline from September 24, 2012 through March 25, 2013. In reading the comments posted, it seems that all of you ladies were never notified. I, like I said, got a postcard type mailing on Feb. 23. 2013. When one is having to submit documentation that dates back 30 years, it is not always readily available nor are some of the people still alive. I was told in one of my many telephone run arounds, that go ahead and submit the claim form, if it is incomplete, a letter will be sent setting for the portions to fill out and an extension deadline given. Don’t know about all of you, but my dealings with the USDA are if the forms are not completed by the deadline date, you are “SOL.”
    In discussing this matter with the attorney, it is our feeling that there are numerous issues of discrimination involved in the way this matter has been administered and lack thereof. This claims form is “voluntary.” Once submitted you will not be able to participate in any legal suit brought for something similar. The foundations have already been set to challenge this current matter. We just need “women” power to get real justice done.

  • Lola Hamilton March 24, 2013

    I to was notified at the end of Feb. 2013 I scrambled to get my application in. It by no means was professional, I did not have the time to get all the documentation I needed. I am furious at the fact that it made me look incompetent. Which I am not! Consider me for a class action please. Frustrated beyond measure.

  • Sandy Allison May 23, 2013

    I applied for a loan to purchase 42 acres that I had on a land contract, I had perfect credit had always has perfect credit but was told I didn’t qualify but they danced all around the reason why I didn’t qualify. Like most of you they could never give me a good reason, nor did I ever receive a turn down letter. I really feel we ladies are getting a raw deal here. We ended up having to finance through a local bank who charged us a variable rate because that was all you could get on a farm and it went from 9 % to 13 % so our payment was always bouncing up and down paid off after 15 years there is no way to calculate just how much this cost us and I am thinking 50K will not cover it even if we get that amount because like someone above said we may still be denied because it was in 1993 and I don’t have any paperpwork.

  • Sylvia Carlton July 2, 2013

    how to you see your claim

  • Carla Bryant July 26, 2013

    Hi I also want to know how I can get and application because just like others I was unaware of the lawsuit claims until I heard people talking about it , and by then it had reached it deadline. Although i didn’t stop there i still went on asking questions about it to those who had already been signed under others who knew about it . After days and days of running around trying to get information I was finally given a name (Mr. Farmer) and when inquired about a number all I was told was that they no longer had the number and that it had reached it deadline. I find it to be sickening because the people that I later learned that actually got a chance to file and complete an application never done any field work in their lives and by No way did they ever try to farm. Again if anybody have any information as to where I can get an application please email me at : carla.bryant1@yahoo.com also you can send me information at:1080 County Line Street Pavo Ga 31778. And you can contact me on my cell(229-413-3481).

  • Carla Bryant July 26, 2013

    Hi I also want to know how I can get and application because just like others I was unaware of the lawsuit claims until I heard people talking about it , and by then it had reached it deadline. Although i didn’t stop there i still went on asking questions about it to those who had already been signed under others who knew about it . After days and days of running around trying to get information I was finally given a name (Mr. Farmer) and when inquired about a number all I was told was that they no longer had the number and that it had reached it deadline. I find it to be sickening because the people that I later learned that actually got a chance to file and complete an application never done any field work in their lives and by No way did they ever try to farm. Again if anybody have any information as to where I can get an application please email me at : carla.bryant1@yahoo.com also you can send me information at:1080 County Line Street Pavo Ga 31778. And you can contact me on my cell(229-413-3481).

  • Carla Bryant July 26, 2013

    Hi I also want to know how I can get and application because just like others I was unaware of the lawsuit claims until I heard people talking about it , and by then it had reached it deadline. Although i didn’t stop there i still went on asking questions about it to those who had already been signed under others who knew about it . After days and days of running around trying to get information I was finally given a name (Mr. Farmer) and when inquired about a number all I was told was that they no longer had the number and that it had reached it deadline. I find it to be sickening because the people that I later learned that actually got a chance to file and complete an application never done any field work in their lives and by No way did they ever try to farm. Again if anybody have any information as to where I can get an application please email me at : carla.bryant1@yahoo.com also you can send me information at:1080 County Line Street Pavo Ga 31778. And you can contact me on my cell(229-413-3481).

  • Carla Bryant July 26, 2013

    Hi I also want to know how I can get and application because just like others I was unaware of the lawsuit claims until I heard people talking about it , and by then it had reached it deadline. Although i didn’t stop there i still went on asking questions about it to those who had already been signed under others who knew about it . After days and days of running around trying to get information I was finally given a name (Mr. Farmer) and when inquired about a number all I was told was that they no longer had the number and that it had reached it deadline. I find it to be sickening because the people that I later learned that actually got a chance to file and complete an application never done any field work in their lives and by No way did they ever try to farm. Again if anybody have any information as to where I can get an application please email me at : carla.bryant1@yahoo.com also you can send me information at:1080 County Line Street Pavo Ga 31778. And you can contact me on my cell(229-413-3481).

  • Carla Bryant July 26, 2013

    Hi I also want to know how I can get and application because just like others I was unaware of the lawsuit claims until I heard people talking about it , and by then it had reached it deadline. Although i didn’t stop there i still went on asking questions about it to those who had already been signed under others who knew about it . After days and days of running around trying to get information I was finally given a name (Mr. Farmer) and when inquired about a number all I was told was that they no longer had the number and that it had reached it deadline. I find it to be sickening because the people that I later learned that actually got a chance to file and complete an application never done any field work in their lives and by No way did they ever try to farm. Again if anybody have any information as to where I can get an application please email me at : carla.bryant1@yahoo.com also you can send me information at:1080 County Line Street Pavo Ga 31778. And you can contact me on my cell(229-413-3481).

  • Carla Bryant July 26, 2013

    Hi I also want to know how I can get and application because just like others I was unaware of the lawsuit claims until I heard people talking about it , and by then it had reached it deadline. Although i didn’t stop there i still went on asking questions about it to those who had already been signed under others who knew about it . After days and days of running around trying to get information I was finally given a name (Mr. Farmer) and when inquired about a number all I was told was that they no longer had the number and that it had reached it deadline. I find it to be sickening because the people that I later learned that actually got a chance to file and complete an application never done any field work in their lives and by No way did they ever try to farm. Again if anybody have any information as to where I can get an application please email me at : carla.bryant1@yahoo.com also you can send me information at:1080 County Line Street Pavo Ga 31778. And you can contact me on my cell(229-413-3481).

  • rosie williams August 17, 2013

    I im 84year old Im part of the pigford 2. I was told by the usda that weman couldn’t applie for loans with the usda only men. I was lied too .stand up for your rights I don’t know if I will get justice just waiting on the mail to see what happen.

  • Priscilla Moss September 4, 2013

    Hi My name is Priscilla Moss I would like to know can I get an application because I didn’t know anything about this lawsuit until I called the Black Farmers lawsuit line inquiring about my claim that was denied after I was chosen to help with developing a case for the lawyers. I am very saden because my mom struggled to get this money after being denied back in 1996 and she died with stomach cancer in 2001. Please help me with what ever there is out there. My address is: 206 Dandelion Lane Union Springs Alabama 36089. I can be reached at (334) 421-0813. Thanks, Priscilla!

  • Pat Johnson September 10, 2013

    I want an application to apply

  • Carolyn Thompson September 17, 2013

    USDA said $50,000 to the one’s that can prove wrongful treatment. Has anyone even complained about the crazy application involved. They have made it next to impossible for regular people to complete the application. Most people don’t have money lying around to pay for an attorney.

  • Mary M September 30, 2013

    I Live in MS and most everyone farm here and apply for loans. The Black farmers turn me down too, I like to know where all that money goes. I send them everything but the clothes of my back. I did it because my mom and grandmom was strong women and bust they butt to make a life for their kids. All we known was farming. I’m with Cynthia We need to get together and get a class action suit.

  • mary craft October 2, 2013

    yes i put in for the females farmer but forgot to send it
    off. I did farm for years and you all may still have my name there on file.Hope I am not to late Mary Craft 152 cordis rankin rd, Mendenhall, Mississippi 39114 I hope its not to late

  • Latasha Renette October 15, 2013

    How do I go about getting a form?

  • Elnora Wilson October 18, 2013

    Black farmer application

  • ELOISE THOMPSON November 21, 2013

    I would like a clam from. sent to me.at. 2020 Lawrence st apt f 47 Biloxi ms 39531. please.

  • Melissa A Bacon February 4, 2014

    I have submitted an application. I have waited and waited to hear info on this matter and just thought I would look at the site to see if anything had been done yet. Does this say that it has or not… unsure, need some info. on this. Surely they haven’t settled and not told anyone…Would like some answers..

    • Subrina April 10, 2014

      I have also submitted a claim. The only information available is through the website and it only states claims are being reviewed. You need your tracking and confirmation numbers to check if your application is in the review process. https://www.farmerclaims.gov/Status.aspx

  • Valorie April 15, 2014

    You are all too late to file now. The original claims filing deadline 3/25/2013 and then extended it to 5/1/2013. They extended the original filing to help others have time to be included. I filed my paperwork 2/1/2013 and received a letter acknowledging that my claim is complete and it is forwarded to the Claims Adjudicator to decide whether or not I meet the criteria.
    It has been in this status since 4/1/2013. They give you a website to check progress, but it never changes and you can’t talk to anyone about it when you call.
    I have been in Adjudication now for a year with nothing being done.

    • mary April 22, 2014

      I wonder is this for real or a scam. I haven’t heard anything and yes it been a year for me too. It would be nice if they update their’s page.

  • Top Class Actions April 23, 2014

    UPDATE: The USDA posted an update on March 12, 2014 stating that it is “committed to ensuring the integrity and impartiality of the claims process. A neutral, third party has been tasked with overseeing all aspects of the process, including notifications, to make certain that it is fair and equitable.” While vague, the update seems to indicate that claims are being processed. You can check the status of your claim here: https://www.farmerclaims.gov/Status.aspx

  • Michelle May 27, 2014

    I tried applying for a loan as did my husband we were told no he couldn’t even get an application he was Hispanic. We lost our farm over it. They didn’t even send us a letter telling us the claim was not valid I just checked the website and it told me it was not valid and no further action will be taken. Got to love government!

    • Brenda August 5, 2014

      I applied for a loan and was also told I was not qualified and was not even allowed to fill out an application. Our orchard was lost and now the white people all around still have thier orchards and I don’t. Very frustrating. I filled out the application for this and waited and waited and then finally recieved a denial for my claim. Can’t speak with anyone and all decisions are final! It is almost as bad as the first time I lost everything. I have relived the pain all over again. How can you prove that someone wouldn’t let you even fill out an application. I have names of other bankers we tried but they didn’t give farm loans. I have proof we lost our land. And who keeps a rejection letter from 30 years ago anyway? That is kind of sick. Did anyone really get money from this? I’m having my doubts.

  • Thomas June 4, 2014

    I received a letter in July of 2013 with information to check the status of my claim…for almost an entire year I have checked the status. The status always says it’s in review. Why is it taking so long?

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