At the end of April, two lawsuits were filed focusing on the socially disadvantaged farmer proposal included in the Biden administration’s latest round of COVID relief. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responded to those lawsuits on Wednesday. “I have to take you back 20 to 30 years, when we know for a fact socially disadvantaged producers were discriminated at by the USDA. We’ve reimbursed people in the past for those acts of discrimination, but we’ve never dealt with the cumulative effect. The updates in the American Rescue Plan start addressing the cumulative effect. Secondly, when you look at the COVID relief packages passed and distributed by USDA prior to the American Rescue Plan, it’s clear white farmers did well because of the way it was structured.” Vilsack said the litigation will be what it is. In the meantime, USDA will move forward.
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