Lawyers are trying to stop USDA’s rapid targeted payments to black farmers

Lawyers are trying to stop USDA’s targeted payments to black farmers.

The Wisconsin attorney suing on behalf of white, Midwestern farmers says that he will ask a federal judge to stop payments until the courts decide the case.

USDA wants to pay black farmers up to 120 percent of their loans because of past discrimination.

Dan Lennington tells Brownfield Ag News that he has talked to farmers involved in a separate case and they plan to file paperwork soon too. USDA has said that the payments will start going out next month.

It could be some time before those court cases are fully settled. At the U.S. Meat Export Federation spring conference this week, a policy analyst told attendees he thinks the dispute will make it all the way to the Supreme Court.

Secretary Vilsack has spent the week visiting socially disadvantaged farmers, saying their payments will be available soon. At one meeting, some black farmers told him they fear they will still be left behind.

In response, Vilsack says “the Department of Ag has a lot of work to do” and this is “the beginning of the beginning.”


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