Alabama
1:32 pm
Tue July 20, 2004

Report Says Black Farmers Not Receiving Settlement

Washington, D.C. – A new research report accuses the U-S Department of Agriculture of blocking almost 64-thousand black farmers from settlements of a 1999 racial discrimination lawsuit. The Environmental Working Group examined thousands of documents from Pigford versus Glickman. That's a class action suit that joined 22-thousand black farmers nationwide. The farmers claimed that the U-S-D-A discriminated against black loan applicants. They won settlements of 50-thousand dollars each five years ago, but E-W-G officials claim getting the money has been extremely difficult for the farmers. The group says farmers have to present their claims to a US-DA adjudicator and are routinely denied. In Alabama, about 31-hundred black farmers received some or all of the payments. That's about 69 percent of those who applied -- and the highest acceptance rate in the South.