‘You Can Feel the Tension’: A Windfall for Minority Farmers Divides Rural America

A $4 billion federal fund meant to confront how racial injustice has shaped American farming has angered white farmers who say they are being unfairly excluded.

Shade Lewis at his cattle farm in La Grange, Mo., on Friday. Mr. Lewis has spent the past decade scratching out a living as the only Black farmer in his corner of northeastern Missouri.Credit…Neeta Satam for The New York Times

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By Jack Healy

LaGRANGE, Mo. — Shade Lewis had just come in from feeding his cows one sunny spring afternoon when he opened a letter that could change his life: The government was offering to pay off his $200,000 farm loan, part of a new debt relief program created by Democrats to help farmers who have endured generations of racial discrimination.

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