White Midwestern Farmers Continue Demand for Government Forgiveness of Loan | State and regional

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In this file photo from Dec. 4, 2017, a farmer harvests crops near Sinsinawa Mound in Wisconsin. A group of Midwestern farmers sued the federal government on Thursday, April 29, 2021, alleging they couldn’t participate in a COVID-19 loan forgiveness program because they were white.


Eileen Meslar / Telegraph Herald via AP, file


TODD ​​RICHMOND Associated Press

MADISON, Wisconsin – A group of Midwestern farmers on Thursday sued the federal government alleging they couldn’t participate in a COVID-19 loan forgiveness program because they were white.

The group of plaintiffs includes farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Ohio. According to the lawsuit, the Biden administration’s COVID-19 stimulus package provides $ 4 billion to cancel loans to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers who are Black, Native American, Hispanic, Alaskan, Asian American, or South Islander. Peaceful.

White farmers are not eligible, which amounts to a violation of the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs, the lawsuit argues.

“If plaintiffs were eligible for the loan forgiveness allowance, they would have the opportunity to make additional investments in their property, expand their farms, purchase equipment and supplies, and otherwise support their families and their local communities, ”says the lawsuit. “Because complainants are not even eligible to apply to the program purely on the basis of their race, they have been denied equal protection of the law and have therefore suffered prejudice.”

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The US Department of Agriculture issued a statement saying the department is reviewing the lawsuit with the US Department of Justice, but the agency plans to continue offering loan reliefs to “socially disadvantaged” farmers.

Lawyers for the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty have filed a lawsuit on behalf of white farmers in federal court in Green Bay.

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