Two dozen livestock producers who sold animals to the troubled Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville will soon receive more than two-million dollars in overdue payments. The payouts were announced today by the new Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.
Jay Johnson, regional director of the U.S.D.A.’s Packers and Stockyards program, says federal law is designed to safeguard those livestock transactions. He says everybody that filed a claim in the case will receive the full payment they were due. The money has been tied up in bankruptcy proceedings.
Agriprocessors filed for bankruptcy last fall after the plant was the site of a massive immigration raid in May. The farmers that were waiting for payments sold livestock to the company before it filed for bankruptcy.
"We had 24 individual sellers that (are) livestock producers, livestock dealers and several auction markets," Johnson said. "Their payments range from $1,000 to over $500,000." The producers are located in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.