From the Sacramento Bee:

Despite acknowledging a legacy of discrimination, the Department of Agriculture is still plagued by civil rights problems that have in the past led to unequal treatment of minorities seeking loans and other help, according to a government-commissioned report Wednesday.

Most of the employees interviewed by a private consulting firm did not believe the department, sued over the years by blacks, Hispanic, American Indians and women, had a civil rights problem. Research by the Jackson Lewis LLP Corporate Diversity Counseling Group "substantiated in part the anecdotal claims of neglect, at best, and wide-spread discrimination, at worst" at the department.

Discrimination was most acute at the Farm Service Agency, which is responsible for delivering farm loans and other programs to rural residents. The study noted that far fewer minorities participated in many programs than did whites, and found not enough effort to go into minority communities to market loans and services.

For more, see: Study: USDA still plagued by civil rights problems