Tennessee Rancher Suing Biden for Loss of Home, Farmland & Cattle


Tennessee rancher and agricultural lawyer Dustin Kittle is suing Joe Biden’s administration for failing to fill vacant seats on the U.S. Farm Credit Administration (FCA) Board, leaving farmers like him at risk. Mr. Kittle is alleging that because of this dereliction of duty by the president, he and his family lost their home, cattle, and farm to the retaliatory actions of a predatory farm lender.

A March 22 statement published by Mr. Kittle on his X account reads as follows:

It’s been 50 years since a Federal Court decided Minnesota Chippewa Tribe v. Carlucci. The case set the framework allowing a citizen to bring suit against a sitting United States President, when that President has failed in their duty to make political appointments mandated by federal law; thereby causing that citizen to be harmed.

Today, I have filed suit against President Biden.

The suit is based upon President Biden’s failure, for more than three years now, to fulfill the duties required of his Office to appoint the full Board of the United States Farm Credit Administration — a duty solely vested in the President alone.

In 2021, my lender, Alabama Farm Credit, hired a private lawyer who engaged in an egregious campaign of retaliation and extortion against me and against my family; resulting in my family losing our home. The retaliation and extortion was reported to the Farm Credit Administration, who failed to intervene and refused to provide us with any substantive response for 657 days.

During that time, President Biden made only one of three political appointments required by law to establish a fully-functional Farm Credit Board. This left Farm Credit Board Members, who were continuing to serve in expired terms, either unwilling or unable to act on my family’s behalf.

To date, though the Farm Credit Administration’s Office of Congressional and Public Affairs found that Alabama Farm Credit and its private lawyer, Chris Glenos of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Birmingham, Alabama, violated federal laws and regulations in their campaign against my family, no action has been taken. I was informed, at the conclusion of an investigation that spanned from August 24, 2021 until June 12, 2023, that me and my family had no recourse whatsoever, given we were coerced, under the threat of a wrongful foreclosure, to liquidate 100 acres of farmland, a herd of registered cattle, and our own home to pay off our Farm Credit loans 20 years early.

Without a Farm Credit Administration Board to protect us, as federal law requires, we had no choice. We had never missed nor even been late on a loan payment — but we were told by our farm credit lender, through Glenos, they could foreclose on us within 45 days if we refused to sign a release of legal claims with confidentiality.

It was not a close call. It was a hit on innocent people; because of the discovery and knowledge of an active and ongoing fraud by a lender in the United States Farm Credit System. Our hope is that, through this action, there will be awareness to what has been allowed to go on in Alabama — and that someone, specifically the President of the United States of America, will intervene as to the harm against my family and so many others.

The Farm Credit System is vital to the continued success of agriculture in this great nation. We cannot allow a System charged with supporting America’s farmers and ranchers to become a political platform to cause those families harm.

We urge President Biden and those with political authority who believe in the future of agriculture to take action on this — and to do so with the urgency as if their own homes depend on it, because for many of us, that is what is at stake.

God bless America’s farmers and ranchers.

Leaving America’s Farmers & Ranchers Vulnerable

According to the lawsuit, in 2021 Mr. Kittle found that his lender–Alabama Farm Credit (AFC), a lender in the U.S. Farm Credit System–violated federal law in the administration of his loan by undervaluing several of his properties in an effort to muscle him into including his mother’s farm as additional collateral.

Mr. Kittle alleges he was threatened with foreclosure as a result of reporting these violations. He says had never missed a payment, and ten days before his report, Mr. Kittle says his branch manager documented in writing that his account was in “excellent standing.” But after taking action to report the violations, according to Mr. Kittle, AFC hired a private lawyer to target him, ultimately resulting in his being forced to sell his “dream home” and liquidate $2.5 million worth of assets, including 100 acres of farmland and his cattle herd, in order to pay out his loan 20 years early.

Mr. Kittle says he reported the retaliatory actions by Alabama Farm Credit to the U.S. Farm Credit Administration on August 24, 2021. They did not conclude their investigation until June 12, 2023–657 days after his report. They found that the ag lender had violated multiple federal laws, including the U.S. Farm Credit Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, but it was too late.

The Biden Administration’s failure to appoint members to the U.S. Farm Credit Administration Board left American farmers and ranchers vulnerable to just such predatory and punitive actions, Mr. Kittle alleges. As precedent for his lawsuit, Mr. Kittle cites Chippewa v. Carlucci. In 1973, the Chippewa Tribe of Minnesota sued President Richard Nixon to appoint board members to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education.

Since taking action, Mr. Kittle says he has heard from multiple AFC borrowers who have experienced similar retaliatory actions from the lender. He is now representing some of those borrowers through his firm, Snow Creek Law in Santa Fe, Tennessee. Mr. Kittle claims he has received death threats since going public with his case, but he continues to post details and documents related to his claims on X in a bid to shine more light on the story.

For its part, AFC maintains they did not act inappropriately, and recently filed a lawsuit against Mr. Kittle related to what they call an “online smear campaign.”

President Required to Appoint an FCA Board

Under the Farm Credit Act of 1971, the president is required to make appointments to the FCA Board. Currently, there are two open seats on the board occupied in holdover status by Jeffery Hall, appointed by President Obama and whose term expired in 2018, and Glen Smith, appointed by President Trump and whose term expired in 2022. The only board appointment made by President Biden is Vince Logan, the current board chairman and CEO who Biden chose as the first “openly gay” member of the FCA board. His term ends in 2026.

Mr. Kittle points out that the president would be required to make one appointee a Republican under current regulations, would he suggested could be the reason Joe Biden has chosen to leave the seats open and farmers and ranchers vulnerable.

The board comprised of a majority in holdover status is “inadequate and ineffective, harming the FCA and System,” Mr. Kittle alleges.

“Without a quorum, a single-member Board is unable to establish general policy or promulgate rules and regulations, leaving the FCA unable to carry out its proscribed statutory obligations and duties,” he wrote in his complaint. “Moreover, extended holdover positions have the potential to undermine the independent status of the FCA, as a Board member without a fixed term is, quite obviously, more vulnerable to the vagaries of politics.”