FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2000
Contact: Heather Gray  (404) 765-0991
USDA Update Reports 5,686 Black Farmers 
Haved Received Payments In The Class Action Suit 

ATLANTA.....The USDA website (www.usda.gov/da/status.htm) reports on the Consent Decree in the Class Action suit filed by Black farmers against the USDA. In the Consent Decree there are 2 tracks - Track A which does not require considerable documentation and Track B which requires considerable documentation and more scrutiny.

19,728 Black farmer claimants were accepted under the Track A portion of the Consent Decree out of which 17,365 determinations have been completed. In the July 20, 2000 update it is reported that out of the 17,365 claims, 6,724 claimants have been denied at a 38.7% denial rate and 10,641 claims being approved at a 61.3% approval rate.

The recent update indicates that 5,686 Track A farmer claimants in the class action have received $50,000 amounting to $284,300,000. An additional 4,955 claimants are presently eligible to receive payments. 

The recent update also indicates that 141 claimants are accepted for processing in theTrack B portion of the law suit. Of the 141 there have been 4 rulings by the arbitrator of which 2 have been ruled against and 2 ruled in favor. To date, only 2 of these cases have been settled. 

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Note: The Federation/LAF, now in its 33rd year,  assists Black family farmers across the South with farm management, debt restructuring, alternative crop suggestions, marketing expertise and a whole range of services to ensure family farm survivability. 
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