The American Farm Bureau Federation said hundreds of dairy farmers across the U.S. were targeted by lawyers representing Dean Foods in its bankruptcy proceedings.
“Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Dean Foods Estate sent out hundreds of letters to dairy producers across the country, demanding that they repay three months’ worth of milk payments they would have received in the three months prior to when the company went bankrupt, which was in November of 2019,” said Travis Cushman is senior counsel for public policy at the AFBF. “And these letters demanded that the farmers repay the money by Christmas Eve or else, essentially, we’ll see you in court.”
Cushman added the AFBF responded immediately.
“We found these letters to be highly misleading and essentially a predatory shakedown written in legal language. We wrote them our own letter and have been explaining to them why we felt these letters were inappropriate, notably because we believe that most, if not all farmers have a complete defense to these claims. Most farmers shouldn’t have to pay anything.”
Cushman said the right form for farmers to sign is available through your local Farm Bureau office, or by visiting the AFBF’s Website.