Unpaid farmers seek state help after grain company bankruptcy
Several Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota farmers might need to file claims with their state agriculture departments after Global Processing Inc. filed for bankruptcy.
Minnesota’s fruit, vegetable, and grain program supervisor Nick Milanowski tells Brownfield Global Processing did file a 50-thousand-dollar surety bond in their state, and several claims have been filed by unpaid farmers with more claims expected. Milanowski says his agency is evaluating the validity of the claims, but it appears there won’t be enough in the fund. “We’re working with the Attorney General’s office in Minnesota to see if we can exercise the rights of the Minnesota Department of Ag in law to liquidate the grain, appoint a trustee, and sell that grain in hopes to make producers whole.”
Milanowski says producers who are owed money by Global Processing should reach out to their state’s ag department to understand their claim filing options. Bond filing requirements differ in each state.
Global Processing Inc. is based in Kanawha, Iowa, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 24th. They also have operations in Hope, Minnesota and in Lexington, and Haigler, Nebraska.
Iowa’s agriculture department suspended the grain dealer and warehouse licenses for Global Processing on October 7th for failing to file monthly financial statements and for not having sufficient funds to cover producer grain checks. Nebraska officials pulled their licenses on October 12th.
Don McDowell with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship tells Brownfield their Grain Indemnity Fund has received three claims so far, which are being evaluated by the fund’s board.
Minnesota officials say farmers can use scale tickets, purchase agreements, purchase receipts, non-sufficient funds checks, contracts, warehouse receipts, and assembly sheets as evidence to support their claims for payment.