WOOSTER, Ohio — A local commercial livestock buyer and dealer has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration regarding claims about unpaid purchase prices and misrepresentation of grade and yield prices.
Better known as GIPSA, the inspection agency enforces the Packers and Stockyards Act — a fair trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat, and poultry industries.
GIPSA found that Martin D. Yoder Livestock of Kidron, Ohio, “failed to pay, when due, the full amount of the purchase price for livestock; misrepresented the grade and yield price obtained from the ultimate purchaser of the livestock; and took an undisclosed profit above the commission from the sale of livestock sold on a commission basis.”
Yoder said the accusations were wrongly made, but he agreed to a $28,000 civil penalty because the cost to fight the case in court would have been much more costly.
He said the business and its attorney neither denied nor admitted to the finding.
“We don’t do that stuff,” he said. “We pay the farmer absolutely what they (are owed).”
He blamed part of the problem on new staff within GIPSA, which he said are inexperienced and overly regulative.
“We didn’t think we were doing anything wrong,” he said. “We didn’t mess with the grades or the weights or do anything else.”
Yoder is a longtime livestock dealer and is registered with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The complaint was filed against him in August.