MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some Midwestern farmers are suing the federal government alleging they’re ineligible for a COVID-19 stimulus loan forgiveness program because they’re white.
The group of farmers hails from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois and Ohio. They filed the lawsuit in Milwaukee on Thursday.
They argue that the Biden administration’s stimulus plan provides loan forgiveness to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, defined as Black, American Indian, Hispanic or Pacific Islander.
The lawsuit alleges that violates white farmers’ constitutional rights. U.S. Department of Agriculture media officials didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
“There should absolutely be no federal dollars going anywhere just based on race. The economic impact from COVID-19 didn’t hurt any race more than another as far as agriculture goes,” says Adam Faust, from Calumet County.
According to officials, Faust owns a dairy farm in Calumet County, near Chilton. In addition to milking about 70 Holstein cows, Mr. Faust farms 200 acres for feed for his cows.