End Rows for March 22, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Notice to hispanic or women farmers and ranchers

If you believe that the United States Department of Agriculture improperly denied farm loan benefits to you between 1981 and 2000 because you are Hispanic or because you are female, you may be able to apply for compensation.

The U.S. government is establishing a claims process to make available $1.33 billion or more to farmers who alleged discrimination by the USDA during that period based on being female or being Hispanic.

If you qualify and submit a timely claim, you could receive financial compensation.

You may be eligible if:

1.You sought a farm loan or farm-loan servicing from USDA during that period; and
2.The loan was denied, provided late, approved for a lesser amount than requested, approved with restrictive conditions, or USDA failed to provide an appropriate loan service; and
3.You believe these actions occurred because you are Hispanic or female.
If you want to register your name to receive a claims package, you can call the Farmer and Rancher Call Center at 1-888-508-4429 or access the following website: www.farmersclaims.gov

In 2011, a Claims Administrator will begin mailing claims packages to those who have requested one through the Call Center or website. The claims package will have detailed information about the eligibility and claims process.

In order to participate, you must submit a claim to the Claims Administrator by the end of the claims period, which will last 180 days, but has not yet been announced.

USDA is not permitted to complete the Claims Package for you or provide you with legal advice.

You are not required to hire an attorney to file a claim, but you may contact a lawyer or other legal services provider in your community for additional guidance.

Again, more information is available at www.farmerclaims.gov

Upcoming deadlines

CRP General Sign-up ends April 15

DCP/ACRE Sign-up for 2011 deadline June 1

-- Many of you have been in, but be sure to remind your landlord or others on the contract to come in -- we have about 200 contracts pending additional signatures

ACRE Participants

-- Report 2010 production by July 31

Crop Reporting Deadlines

--Small grains June 30

-- All other July 31

2009 SURE Sign-up ends July 29