Texas Farm Bureau Radio: Braden Boucek discusses new lawsuit challenging discriminatory USDA relief programs

(April 11, 2024): Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) Vice President of Litigation Braden Boucek joined Texas Agriculture Today to discuss a recent lawsuit filed by SLF and Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) on behalf of Texas farmers. Boucek explains that Congress instructed the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to dole out relief money to farmers following natural disasters, but USDA decided to give more relief money to “socially disadvantaged” farmers than to others. Farmers who were not of USDA’s preferred race or sex therefore did not get as much relief from the government, including the plaintiffs here.

Boucek states, “These are family-run farms, they’ve been at it for decades, they work hard, they don’t take vacations. and like a lot of farmers in that part of the world, extreme heat and drought have really affected their ability to make a living. This farm aid is really critical for them to remain in the business…they shouldn’t be faced with an even more daunting hurdle of having to sue the federal government just to have the same access as farmers of other races and sexes.”

Boucek adds that this isn’t the first time the Biden Administration has treated farmers differently based on race. Back in 2021, USDA tried to roll out a race-based loan forgiveness program that discriminated against farmers of certain races. Boucek describes a lawsuit SLF and MSLF brought at the time, saying, “We were one of the groups that stepped in and immediately halted that program, and that really opened our eyes to the various ways in which America’s farmers are having their constitutional rights violated each and every day.”

Listen at Texas Farm Bureau Radio.

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