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Indian ranchers moving forward on lawsuit
11 March 2005

Indian ranchers and farmers

      Eighty American Indian ranchers and farmers from several states in the region gathered March 3 in Bismarck to discuss their lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The class action, known as Keepseagle versus Johanns, includes all American Indians in the nation who farmed and ranched between 1981 and 1999. The ranchers allege that discrimination by the USDA limited their financial success and caused bankruptcies and foreclosures. The government settled a similar suit by African American farmers in 1999, resulting in payments to over 13 thousand claimants, mostly in southern states. UTN photo Dennis J. Neumann