Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Lynn Voigt announced on October 4, 2012 that a series of public meetings will be held in Oregon to explain the discrimination claims process that opened on September 24, 2012 and will remain open until March 25, 2013.
Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege discrimination by the USDA in past decades can file claims during this period and may receive a cash payment or loan forgiveness.
“We encourage those Hispanic and women farmers or ranchers in Oregon who feel they may have experienced discriminatory treatment to attend a meeting to learn more about this claims process,” said Voigt. “At FSA we are dedicated to ensuring fair and equal treatment for all Oregon farmers and ranchers in our state.”
Attend a local meeting to learn more about this claims process:
Monday, October 15 5:00 PM
Medford Red Lion
200 N Riverside Ave, Medford, OR
Tuesday, October 16 5:00 PM
Eugene Red Lion
205 Coburg Rd, Eugene, OR
Wednesday, October 17 8:00 AM
McMinnville Community Center
600 NE Evans Street, McMinnville, OR
Wednesday, October 17 5:30 PM
Linn County Fair and Expo Center
3700 Knox Butte Rd, Albany, OR
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 participate in this claims resolution process. This 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.
As announced in February 2011, 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 for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000. There are no filing fees to participate in the program.
A national toll-free information line is available at 1-888-508-4429 and a national website has been established at www.farmerclaims.gov. Claimants must register for a claims package (by calling the number or visiting the website) and the claims package will be mailed to claimants.
For details about the public meetings in Oregon, you can contact the FSA State Office at 503-692-3688 ext 235. A list of all Oregon meeting location addresses and dates is also available at www.fsa.usda.gov/or .
Contact: Kent Willett
503-692-3688 ext. 235
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).