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Farmers can file discrimination claims by March 25

SEATTLE — Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in past decades can file claims until March 25, 2013.

“Hispanic and women farmers who believe they have faced discriminatory practices from the USDA must file a claim by March 25, 2013 in order to have a chance to receive a cash payment or loan forgiveness,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release.

The process offers a voluntary alternative to litigation for each Hispanic or female farmer and rancher who can prove that USDA denied their applications for loan or loan servicing assistance for discriminatory reasons between 1981 and 2000.

The voluntary claims process will make available at least $1.33 billion for cash awards and tax relief payments, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief, to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. There are no filing fees.

Online, go to www.farmerclaims.gov. Or call (888) 508-4429.

 

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