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DeLauro, Eshoo praise claims process with reservations

Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., on Tuesday praised the Obama administration for establishing a claim-filing process for female and Hispanic farmers who believe the Agriculture Department discriminated against them in the past.

The USDA announced Monday that it would attempt to resolve suits that women and Hispanic farmers have brought against USDA through an administrative claims process.

Eligible farmers and ranchers can file claims until March 25, 2013 by calling 1-888-508-4429 or by going to farmerclaims.gov.

“I am encouraged that the administration is doing the right thing and ensuring that women farmers and ranchers do not suffer discrimination in the future,” DeLauro said.

“While I continue to have reservations about parts of this claims process, I am glad to see it begin so women farmers and ranchers who have suffered discrimination in the past can finally see justice,” DeLauro said. “I will continue to work with USDA to ensure a comprehensive, effective outreach process and ensure that all women are treated fairly.”

“The USDA’s announcement is encouraging, but more should be done to help women farmers who were discriminated against in the past,” Eshoo said. “And we must take steps to ensure it does not happen again in the future. I remain committed to working with the administration to right this wrong.”