BY: COREY LEA

JANUARY 23, 2017

NASHVILLE, TN.

615 308 7787

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PAID OUT OVER ONE BILLION DOLLARS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS FOR VIOLATIONS; LESS THAN 2 PERCENT PAID TO BLACK FARMERS THAT HAVE 98 PERCENT OF PENDING CLAIMS

https://jfund.fms.treas.gov/jfradSearchWeb/JFPymtSearchAction.do

The USDA takes great pride in systemic discrimination and have been very effective in not paying for such egregious acts. Over the last 10 years, the USDA has paid over One Billion in claims filed for violations of law, but they have managed to pay less than 2 percent to Black Farmers who represent 98 percent of the pending claims.

The Administrative Procedures Act is a law enacted by Congress to give the Agency a chance to correct its own actions. However, the Agency has instructed the Administrative Law Judge and Judicial Officer to deny all claims by Black Farmers and minimize claims against White Farmers.

Of the One Billion paid by the Judgment Fund, the Administrative Law Judge only awarded 10 Million on settlements over the last 10 years. The reasons for this strategy or position taken, to deny formal hearing on the merits, is so that the complainants can not get all of the records to substantiate their claims if they file a suit against the agency in federal court. The Department of Justice has been very good at getting suits dismissed due to lack of evidence to substantiate claims.

The most common discrimination claim against the Department is Equal Credit Opportunity Act, a tort for discrimination. To be victorious in that claim, a claimant must provide proof of similarly situated White Farmers getting the same or similar favorable treatment in regards to loans. It is virtually impossible to provide such information. However, Congress mandated that the Agency must provide a copy of those records, which include similarly situated White Farmers in the records, found in the expressed language of section 14012 of the Food Energy and Conservation Act or 2008 Farm Bill. The Courts, in most cases, are not following the law and dismissing these discrimination actions by Black Farmers without the benefit of discovery or compelling the records as Congress mandated.

Corey Lea
Executive Director
The Cowtown Foundation Inc.
The Lil’ Cowtown Ranch and Rodeo Inc.
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