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Hispanic farmers upset with settlement amount in USDA discrimination case

Some Valley Hispanic farmers are angry over a $1.3 billion federal program created to settle long-standing complaints of discrimination by the federal agriculture department.

From the Fresno Bee:

Some Valley Hispanic farmers are angry over a $1.3 billion federal program created to settle long-standing complaints of discrimination by the federal agriculture department.

The farmers say the funds are about half of what was paid to black farmers who settled a similar discrimination claim against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Hispanic and female farmers, who also are part of the settlement, will share $1.3 billion. By contrast, the government approved $2.2 billion for black farmers -- including $1 billion in 1999 and another $1.25 billion in 2010.

"I know it's a lot of money, but it just doesn't seem fair," said Vera Chavez, whose family farms in Reedley. "They are treating us like second-class citizens."

The pushback by Hispanic farmers has put the federal government in an odd position. Although it's been championing the resolution of the Hispanic complaints, it's also been struggling to defend it at community meetings.

For more, see: Valley Hispanic farmers criticize settlement

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