April 03, 2009

Claim Period Ends for Martinsburg Grain Dealer Case

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – After nearly six weeks of accepting claims, the Missouri Department of Agriculture announced today that they received 177 claims from farmers affected by the Martinsburg grain dealer, T.J. Gieseker Farms and Trucking. In February, the Department of Agriculture suspended Cathy Gieseker’s grain license, prohibited her from engaging in any grain-related business transactions and seized her grain and grain-related assets.

“Farmers in Northeast Missouri have been severely impacted by the situation that has occurred in Audrain County. The Department of Agriculture’s grain auditors and staff have worked with farmers to hear their concerns and fully document their claims,” said Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Department of Agriculture. “Our main priority right now is to do everything we can to assist those that have been affected.”

Grain auditors at the Department of Agriculture will spend the next few days reviewing and placing a value on each claim. All final dollar figures will be made available after an administrative hearing in the coming weeks. The administrative hearing will be open to the public and is designed to share the terms proposed, giving parties involved a chance to respond. An administrative officer will determine if the proposed settlement is equitable given the available assets and claims.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture continues to work with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the case.

Earlier this month, the Missouri Department of Agriculture also accepted 109 claims from farmers affected by Gallatin Grain in Northwest Missouri.

For more information regarding grain insolvencies, visit www.mda.mo.gov.