Minnesota Co-op Customers Urged to File Claims

DTN writer Todd Neeley reported yesterday that, “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is urging farmers who conducted business with the now-closed Ashby Farmers Cooperative in Ashby, Minnesota, to collect any evidence they have to prove they are owed money by the co-op or had grain stored at the facility in order to file a bond claim with the department.

“The MDA issued an advisory to farmers on Tuesday to begin the process of trying to recover at least some of the losses.

The 307,000-bushel-capacity grain elevator closed earlier this month after it was discovered the elevator’s former manager had allegedly stole about $2 million from the business before disappearing.”

The DTN update noted that, “Bob Zelenka, executive director of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, said the Ashby case is like no other in the state.

“‘It is certainly unfortunate when something like this happens because it reflects poorly on the whole industry,’ he said. ‘In my 38 years with this industry, I have never witnessed anything as unusual as the situation in Ashby.’

“According to the MDA, farmers with claims against the elevator should start by completing a grain bond proof of claim form. The form can be accessed at: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/…

“Along with the form, farmers need to provide supporting evidence, which can include scale tickets, purchase agreements, purchase receipts, non-sufficient-funds checks, contracts, warehouse receipts and assembly sheets.”

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