Domina Law Group Helps!
Farmers, ranchers, and cattle feeders still remember the independent era
when they controlled their own destiny. Weather, market and production
risk were the risky parts of business. Now there is another risk: a hostile
marketplace where the producer has little or no voice because the packer
or processor controls too much power over the independent businessperson
whose life is devoted to production of food.
Sale barns, local elevators and auctions to buy and sell commodities and
determine price have largely disappeared. These have been replaced with
"contracts" i.e., agreements between packers and those they
choose to buy from, for transfer of raw agricultural goods at the processor’s
Abuse of the Contract System
The rise of agricultural contracting, and the proportionate fall of open
market transactions, has limited producer independence and increased opportunities
for packers, processors, and poultry integrators to abuse the contract
system through their market power and through reported deception and misrepresentation.
Often, the dangerous contracting process looks attractive to unwary producers.
They look to contracting because they are promised reduced price risk,
assured sales and a guaranteed relationship. Bankers may encourage, or
even demand producers sign a contract with a packer as a loan approval
condition. Unfortunately, the price protection and risk reduction assurances
often are untrue. When the packer becomes ever so slightly displeased
with the price, the condition or other matters related to the goods, producers
are easily victimized.
A whole operation is automatically at risk when a producer, who financed
expansion based on a packer contract, faces termination of the agreement
and is forced to go to lawyers for help. Even then, the deception in a
contract’s fine print can cause more problems. Packer-form contracts
often waive trial by jury, require arbitration, and include provisions
making it impossible for the producer to get his/her dispute heard before
a decision making body of people who can place the packer and producer
on common ground.
Domina Law Group represents producers who are the victims of packer market
power, fraud, misrepresentation, and deception in agricultural contracting.
Attorneys General in major agricultural states know producers need help.
We handle cases for cattle, hog, corn, soybean and other producers. The
Firm has been called upon to assist raisin producers in California’s
San Joaquin Valley, dairymen in New Mexico, and alfalfa farmers in Arizona
as well as many farmers and ranchers in the Midwest. Cases range from
overreaching price restrictions, to breaches of contracts, to plain deception.
The people of Domina Law Group stand up in Court for farmers, ranchers,
and producers to bring equity and justice when there are no other options
to deal with abuses of power.