White farmers sue over Biden loan bailout


White farmers sue over Biden loan bailout

A lawsuit has been filed against the USDA claiming the Biden administration’s five-billion-dollar loan forgiveness program for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers discriminates against white farmers.

The dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act are specifically targeted to help only Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Alaskan native, Asian American or Pacific Islanders have USDA direct or guaranteed farm loans and Farm Storage Facility Loans forgiven.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is representing a group of farmers in Minnesota, South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  They are asking the court to prohibit USDA from applying racial classifications when determining a farmer’s eligibility for stimulus payments or loan modifications. 

Farmers Adam Faust and Christopher Baird of Wisconsin, Jonathan Stevens of Minnesota, Jay Slaba from South Dakota, and Joseph Schmitz from Ohio are the plaintiffs in the case.  Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux are the defendants.

Wisconsin Congressman Tom Tiffany and Burgess Owens from Utah introduced the American Civil Rights and Equality Act in late March to prevent race-targeted relief.  Tiffany told Brownfield when it was announced, “Five billion dollars in debt relief for farmers who are minorities. The way I look at it, all farmers are minorities at this point.”  So far, the Tiffany-Owens bill remains in committee.