Adam Faust, a white disabled farmer from Calumet County who has two prosthetic legs, has, together with four other midwestern farmers, filed a lawsuit accusing the federal government of infringing on their constitutional rights, WLUK reported.
The group claimed that they were unable to enroll in a COVID-19 loan repayment scheme because of their skin color. The complaint claimed that white farmers were exempt, which was a violation of the plaintiffs’ civil rights.
“Were plaintiffs eligible for the loan forgiveness benefit, they would have the opportunity to make additional investments in their property, expand their farms, purchase equipment and supplies, and otherwise support their families and local communities. Because plaintiffs are ineligible to even apply for the program solely due to their race, they have been denied the equal protection of the law and therefore suffered harm,” as written in the lawsuits.
The plaintiffs were farmers came from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Ohio.
The American Rescue Plan offered $4 billion to forgive loans for “considered disadvantaged,” farmers and ranchers, according to the suit, which was filed in federal court in Green Bay on Thursday. The lawsuit claimed that only Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Alaskan aboriginal, Asian American, or Pacific Islander were “considered disadvantaged.”
Adam Faust, owner of Faust Farms in Chilton, said:
“If somebody’s green, I think they should be allowed to participate, based on their actual qualifications for the program, and not just picking an arbitrary thing like race,” said Faust.