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% 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.

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