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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Agriprocessors bankruptcy comes back to bite some cattle producers

By Lynda Waddington | 11.30.09 | 12:39 pm

Producers who received letter from bankruptcy court urged to contact Iowa Cattlemen’s Association

Some Iowa cattle producers that sold livestock to the now-defunct Agriprocessors meatpacking operation in Postville have received an unexpected and unwanted piece of holiday mail from the federal bankruptcy court.

Court officials, in an effort to ensure that none of the company’s accounts payable received preferential treatment, have informed Iowa producers that they have 10 days from the date of the letter to repay 80 percent what the company paid them in the time period before it declared bankruptcy. If the letter is ignored or no answer provided, the court will move to recoup 100 percent of the Agriprocessors payments.

Tom Shipley, director of issues management and policy implementation for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, said that his organization has been in contact with roughly eight producers who received the letter, and that the government demands have ranged from $50,000 to $600,000.

“We simply don’t know exactly how many producers or sale barns might have received this letter, but we do want all who did receive it to contact our offices,” Shipley said by telephone Monday.

Attorneys for the ICA have been in contact with the U.S. bankruptcy court and believe they have worked out an extension from the existing Dec. 3 due date to Dec. 15.

The bankruptcy code permits a trustee to recover payments made to a creditor within the 90 day period preceding the bankruptcy petition. The policy behind the rule is to remedy a situation where the debtor gives preferred treatment to creditors just before filing, and allows that particular creditor to receive more on its claim than would have otherwise been received through bankruptcy proceedings.

“We believe that it is not preferential treatment or preferred payment for producers and sale barns to provide livestock to a meatpacking company,” he said.

The letters were sent to individuals and companies that received direct payment from the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in the 90 days prior to the company declaring bankruptcy, or roughly mid-August through mid-November of 2008. Those producers that used the Packers and Stockyards Act to receive their payment after the bankruptcy filing do not seem to be impacted.

The cattlemen will likely rely on one of two exceptions to the preference rule: Contemporaneous exchange or ordinary course of business. A payment that is made at the same time a product is provided is an example of a “contemporaneous exchange.” Payments for “ordinary course of business” depend on payment practices within the industry and previous payment practices between the creditor and debtor.

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Comments

  • aries2756

    If the government charged the owner with “not paying the cattlemen within 48 hours” and was convicted of wrongdoing on this charge, how could the government then turn around and demand that those cattlemen who received payment return that money. How can they use this law with a sharp blade on one side and a dull one on the other. If the government is allowed to use that law to the disadvantage of Mr. Rubashkin, why should the cattlemen not be allowed to be protected under that law and keep the payments made to them.

  • aries2756

    If the government charged the owner with “not paying the cattlemen within 48 hours” and was convicted of wrongdoing on this charge, how could the government then turn around and demand that those cattlemen who received payment return that money. How can they use this law with a sharp blade on one side and a dull one on the other. If the government is allowed to use that law to the disadvantage of Mr. Rubashkin, why should the cattlemen not be allowed to be protected under that law and keep the payments made to them.

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