May 02, 2021 5:00 PM

White farmers sue seeking government loan forgiveness

Posted May 02, 2021 5:00 PM

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 officials said in a statement that the agency is reviewing the lawsuit, but the agency plans to continue to offer loan forgiveness to “socially disadvantaged” farmers.