July 20, 2009

Department of Agriculture Announces Administrative Hearing in Gieseker Case

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) - The Missouri Department of Agriculture today announced that an administrative hearing regarding the T.J. Gieseker grain case has been set for Friday, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Martinsburg, MO. The Department of Agriculture received 180 claims from farmers affected totaling over $27 million.

"This is a sad day for agriculture in Missouri and our hearts go out to the many farm families affected by this case," said Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Department of Agriculture. "The farm economy is built on trust. For centuries, Missouri farmers have relied on a firm handshake and a promising word. When the trust is broken, entire farm communities are affected. We will continue to work with Attorney General Chris Koster and his staff as this case moves forward."

The hearing is open to the public and claimants will be given the opportunity to ask questions related to their claims. An administrative hearing officer will determine if the proposed settlement is equitable given the assets and claims.

On Feb. 20, the Department of Agriculture, with assistance from the Missouri Attorney General Koster's Office, petitioned the Circuit Court of Audrain County to seize assets including grain and grain-related articles of T.J. Gieseker Farms and Trucking. Since that time, Department of Agriculture grain auditors and staff have logged over 1500 hours documenting claims and answering farmer's questions. Today Attorney General Koster charged Cathy Gieseker with 12 felony counts for cheating farmers and lying to state authorities to cover up her crimes.

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