order non hybrid seeds LandRightsNFarming: FW: Update: Women and Hispanic Lawsuit Against USDA

Monday, December 17, 2012

FW: Update: Women and Hispanic Lawsuit Against USDA


FromSubject: Update: Women and Hispanic Lawsuit Against USDA



Federation of Southern Cooperatives

Land Assistance Fund


For Immediate Release: December 17, 2012
John Zippert, Director of Programs
(205) 652-9676, johnzippert@federation.coop 

Mircha King, Lawsuit Legal Coordinator
(800) 503 5678, mirchaking@federation.coop 


Update on  Hispanic and Women Discrimination Lawsuit Against the USDA 

The final date for getting claims in is March 25, 2013  


EPES, ALABAMA....The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund (Federation) is currently assisting women and Hispanic farmers in filing their discrimination claim against the USDA in the Women's and Hispanic lawsuit that is now within the 180 day claims period that ends March 25, 2013.  We are getting close to the mid-point in this lawsuit process, because of that we at the Federation are suggesting the following:


(1) If you are a woman or Hispanic farmer who has been discriminated against by the USDA between 1981 and 2000, please immediately go to the Farmer Claims website or call (1-888-508-4429) for your claim package.


(2) There are a lot of particular details and information you need to provide on the claim form so it's best that you start now gathering the information you need. You can call our office for assistance if needed (see contact information above).


"We are still working to reduce some of the requirements for these claims. We, of course, don't know if that will be successful. Still, there are only a few months left to get claim forms in so we are encouraging everyone to get their claim forms now!" said John Zippert, Director of Program Operations.

Below are more specifics about the lawsuit 


The funding available for the Women and Hispanic discrimination lawsuit against the USDA is $1.3 Billion and there are thousands of claimants across the country. Note that the discrimination must have taken place between 1981-2000. Unlike the Black and Native American farmers, the Hispanic/Women farmers are not certified as a class and each individual farmer must file his or her claim form on an individual basis. There are three tiers in these lawsuits. Each tier has different eligibility requirements that are very specific and detailed.       

Claimants must choose to proceed with their discrimination claim in one of these following three tier options:


Tier 1(a) $50,000 cash award, tax relief and loan forgiveness (criteria: claimant tried to but did not submit an application to the USDA for a loan or loan servicing);


Tier 1(b) will receive a cash award for proven actual damages or losses documented by the claimant up to $250,000 and debt forgiveness from the USDA (criteria: claimant submitted an application for a loan or loan servicing with the USDA and has a significant standard of proof that is specific and detailed of the events);


Tier 2 claimants can receive up to $50,000, debt forgiveness from the USDA, and tax relief (criteria: claimant submitted an application to the USDA for a loan or loan servicing).    


There are no appeal rights, thus no room for error in filling out the claim form. The Adjudicator's decisions on claims will be final. It is vital that claimants receive help from the Federation or one of the Network's member organizations in filling out claim forms. "There will most likely be many meetings held throughout the South regarding the Women and Hispanic lawsuit discrimination claim process, and how to file a claim," said John Zippert of the Federation in Epes, Alabama. "However, we encourage as many farmers as possible to be patient and meet with Federation or Network staff before attempting to file on their own. You need to be sure that your claim form is filed successfully by trained staff the first time."


Finally, for women farmers or the spouses of Black or Native American farmers, who have already submitted discrimination claims in prior cases (Pigford I and II and Keepseagle) - whether successful or unsuccessful - there is a restriction on applying in this case, unless the incident of discrimination was separate and distinct from the prior claims.


Again, for more information regarding the lawsuit and to receive a claim form visit the following site: www.farmerclaims.gov or call at (1-888-508-4429). The claims period is from September 24, 2012-March 25, 2013 and claimants will have a little less than six months to complete and file all forms.  






Please go to the Federation's website at  www.federation.coop for information
about upcoming workshops and events.  


fsc logo   

 Note: The Federation/LAF, now in its 45th year, assists Black family farmers across the South with farm management, debt restructuring, alternative crop suggestions, marketing expertise and a whole range of services to ensure family farm survivability.      


2769 Church Street · East Point, GA · 30344

404 765 0991 · www.federation.coop


Forward email

Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund | 2769 Church Street | East Point | GA | 30344


This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.