ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Leaders of minority farm and ranching groups say the U.S. Department of Agriculture hasn't done enough to address discrimination and civil rights violations that have affected Latinos and women.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) Leaders of minority farm and ranching groups say the U.S. Department of Agriculture hasn't done enough to address discrimination and civil rights violations that have affected Latinos and women.

They took aim at the federal government's claims process during a news conference Wednesday as the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association kicked off its annual meeting in Albuquerque.

Advocates say the denial rate for claims filed by Latinos and women has been five times higher than other minority groups, including black and Native American farmers who settled with the government in recent years after filing class-action lawsuits.

The USDA did not immediately respond to questions about the status of the claims or address the advocates' criticisms. The agency has previously acknowledged its checkered history with regards to civil rights.