Surprise! Farmer fights sex and race discrimination, and wins!

 June 9, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A farmer in Minnesota who took on the state government over an illegal agenda it embedded in one of its grant programs has won his fight.

And now that illegal sex and race discrimination is gone.

It is the Pacific Legal Foundation that praised farmer Lance Nistler for his dedication to fairness and equality.

"In the wake of a lawsuit brought by farmer Lance Nistler, Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation on May 24 that rolls back an illegal policy that gave priority to 'emerging farmers' based on immutable characteristics such as race and sex," the legal team explained.

"Thanks to the courage of a small farmer, equality before the law has been restored in Minnesota. Because Lance Nistler stood up for his right to equal treatment, the state will no longer disadvantage farmers based on their race and sex," said PLF attorney Andrew Quinio.

"We are thrilled that Governor Walz and the state legislature responded to Lance’s lawsuit by amending the Down Payment Assistance Grant Program so that it does not unlawfully discriminate against Minnesota’s hardworking small farmers. We encourage other states to follow Minnesota’s about-face and stop violating the Constitution’s guarantee of equality before the law."

Nistler filed a lawsuit in January charging the state with unequal treatment based on race and sex because, while he was picked ninth in a lottery for payment grants, he was put at the back of the list because of the state's claim to prioritize "emerging farmers."

The state defined those as "racial minorities, women, or young, urban, and LGBTQIA+ individuals."

When the case was filed his application for one of the $15,000 grants just had been rejected.

He not only was picked ninth of 176 applicants, but he also met all of the eligibility requirements – except that he wasn't urban, a minority, a woman or LGBT.

Nistler sought the grant to buy 40 acres of farmland in Beltrami County, Minnesota, to grow soybeans, oats and wheat.

Minnesota's lawmakers had allowed $500,000 in 2023 to create the grant program, and required that recipients be Minnesota residents earning less than $250,000 a year in gross agricultural sales, provide the day-to-day labor on their farms for five years and not have previously owned farmland.

And officials insisted on the race and sex preferences, until he filed suit.

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