Sparks reacts to black farmers' lawsuit settlement - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Sparks reacts to black farmers' lawsuit settlement

MONTGOMERY – Last week, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the successful resolution of the longstanding litigation known as the Pigford II case. This discrimination lawsuit filed by African American farmers has been in negotiations for years.

There are several steps that must be taken for the settlement to be complete and get the money in these farmers' hands, according to Alabama Ag Commissioner Ron Sparks.

First, Congress must appropriate the money. Then, the court system must approve the settlement. At that point members of the class action lawsuit will then submit their claims and have them substantiated.

"I am pleased that Secretary Vilsack and US Attorney General Holder were able to reach a settlement in the Pigford II case filed by African American farmers. Now is time for Congress to appropriate the request submitted and settle this case for all black farmers," said Sparks. "I promise to do whatever I can to further this process along and get money in the hands of the farmers that deserve it."

Sparks continued, "I hope with the settlement of this case USDA can continue to mend the vital relationship they have with farmers."

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