Workshop on Understanding the Lawsuit and the Claim Form in the Black Farmer Class Action Lawsuit Against the USDA
On Saturday, March 17, 2012 a workshop on the Pigford 2 lawsuit will be held at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s, Louisiana Small Farmer Conference at the Felton G. Clark Activity Center (Mini‐Dome) on the campus of Southern University. The workshop will take place from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
It has taken 20 years to provide the opportunity for thousands of farmers who were discriminated by the USDA to have some relief if they prevail in the lawsuit. “Our intent is to provide as much detailed information as possible to assist farmers with the claims process,” said John Zippert with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. There is considerable misinformation circulating around the South about the lawsuit, such as assumptions that it is still possible to sign up for the lawsuit in 2012. The fact is, to be in the lawsuit, individuals had to have filed a petition between October 13, 1999 and July 18, 2008 when the Farm Bill passed Congress.
The workshop will offer claimants information about who qualifies in the lawsuit and about the claims process itself. Those attending will be informed about the claim form and to better understand what is needed to provide a narrative about the discrimination they experienced at USDA.
Farmers are encouraged to attend the meeting on March 17 so they can be as informed as possible before they meet with class counsel.
There are many meetings scheduled with class counsel in the South. Please call EPIQ at 877-810-8110 if you have questions about being in the lawsuit and to make an appointment with an attorney. (EPIQ is the administrator in the Pigford 2 lawsuit.)
There is no right of appeal, thus no room for error in filling out the claim form. Farmers are encouraged to bring the persons helping them with their claims to the workshop.
###For more information call Mircha King at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives / Land Assistance Fund at 800‐503‐5678. To set up a meeting with Class Counsel call EPIQ at 877‐810‐8110.
Note: The Federation / LAF, now in its 44th 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 survival ability.