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Local news briefs- Aug. 12

Cravaack staff members to visit Ironton, Breezy Point, Fifty Lakes 

Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., announced the area locations of mobile office visits his staff will conduct throughout the 8th Congressional District on Aug. 19.

Members of his staff will visit: Ironton City Hall (309 Third St.) from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Fifty Lakes City Hall (40447 Town Hall Road) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Breezy Point City Hall (8319 County Road 11) from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Native American producers may be eligible for benefits from lawsuit

Native American farmers or ranchers who believe the United States Department of Agriculture improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time periods between 1981 and 1999 because of their race may be eligible to receive benefits from a $760 million class action discrimination settlement. 

Farmers or ranchers  may be eligible to receive benefits if they: 

Farmed or ranched or attempted to farm or ranch between January 1, 1981 and November 24, 1999;

Tried to get a farm loan or loan servicing from USDA during that period; and

Complained about discrimination to USDA either on their own or through a representative during the time period. 

The Farm Service Agency wants all Native American producers in Minnesota who may be eligible to be aware of this claims process so they can come forward and participate in these processes. Native American farmers and ranchers that have alleged discrimination against USDA will need to file a claim by December 27, 2011 to get benefits. 

After the Court approves the Settlement, meetings will be held across the country to help Class Members file claims. You can register to receive for a Claims Package at the website: or by calling the toll-free number: (888) 233-5506.