Advertisement for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, for sale by the United States of America, acting through the Farm Service Agency, (FSA), a farm located on Meehl & Sidehill Roads, North East, PA 16428, 2.5 miles south west of North East, Pennsylvania, in the Township of North East, County of Erie, consisting of approximately 114 +/- acres.
This farm will be sold for $380,000. Offers higher or lower will not be accepted. The property is being offered for sale to those individuals whom the Farm Service Agency (FSA) considers qualified beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, and prevailing claimants in the civil action Pigford vs. Vilsack. Prevailing claimants who have not already used their right to their one-time priority consideration and who are qualified beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers will be given first priority consideration in the purchase of this property. If more than one beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher or more than one of a combination of both who are prevailing Pigford I claimants exercising their one-time right to priority consideration submit an application, priority within this group will be determined by lottery. Qualified beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers must be in need of FSA credit assistance either in the form of direct FSA financing or an FSA guaranteed loan.
The settlement caused some controversy as the number of groups alleging discrimination kept growing and the number of claimants continued to rise. Payments have exceeded $4 billion and a New York Times story reported rampant fraud in the program.
For other requirements and information on how to qualify as a beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, you may contact your local FSA office. Prevailing claimants from the Pigford I Consent Decree process seeking priority consideration must submit written notice of the request to FSA. In addition, a prevailing Pigford I claimant must either submit an actual application for inventory property or for a loan at the time of the request for priority consideration or must have an application for inventory property or for a loan already pending with FSA. If applications are received from beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmers who are not prevailing Pigford I claimants, and prevailing Pigford I claimants who are not beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmers, priority remains with the beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmers.
If, in response to the advertisement in this paragraph, an application is received only from a prevailing Pigford I claimant who is not a beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmer, the property shall be offered to the applicant at the appraised market value before the inventory property is put up for public bid.
In summary, priority consideration will be in the following order:
- prevailing Pigford I claimants who are beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmers
- beginning farmers and/or socially disadvantaged farmers
- prevailing Pigford I claimants who are not beginning and/or socially disadvantaged farmers.
Farm Service Agency defines a beginning farmer in part as a person who:
- is an eligible applicant for Farm Ownership assistance
- has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years
- will materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch
- agrees to participate in Farm Service Agency’s borrower training program
- does not have adequate resources at the present time
- if an entity, all members must meet the beginning farmer requirements
Farm Service Agency defines a socially disadvantaged farmer as:
- a group whose members have been subject to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities.
These groups consist of: American Indians or Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks or African Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, Hispanic, and women.
Additional information on beginning farmer and socially disadvantaged farmer loan eligibility is available from the Farm Service Agency.
The Sale may be subject to conservation easement deed restrictions. If applicable, they will restrict the purchaser’s use of the wetland, floodplains and other special areas of the property. Also, the purchaser may be required to comply with the conditions of a Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation plan. The property may also contain wetland that are not protected with a conservation easement that will be subject to other environmental laws such as Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and highly erodible land provision of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996.
The property is being sold subject to certain deed restrictions pertaining to lead base paint hazards. The property is being sold as is. Financing may be available subject to the availability of funds.
If financing is not available at the time of the sale, the selected applicant will be given the opportunity to lease the property for up to 18 months or until such time that the Agency funds become available, whichever comes first.
Applications can be picked up at the Crawford County FSA Office, 14699 North Main Street Ext. Meadville, PA, 814-336-2127. Application and Offer must be completed and received by 2:00 p.m. on August 27, 2017. Offers received after this date will be given consideration only if offers received on or before this date are not accepted. The government reserves the right to cancel the sale at any time, and the right to reject any or all applications.
Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter a binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Protection Act. The Federal agency that administers compliance with this law is the Federal Trade Commission, Equal Credit Opportunity, Washington, D.C. 20580. USDA regulations prohibit discrimination in USDA programs because of your race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, martial status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability; or because all or part of your income is derived from any public assistance program; or because you have filed a program complaint, participated in any program complaint proceeding or opposed a prohibited practice. If you believe that you have been discriminated against for any of the reasons state above, you may file a complaint with the Director, Office of Civil Rights, United States Department of Agriculture, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410.