USDA Settles a Packers and Stockyards Case with Payne County Stockyards LLC

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 10:30am
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WASHINGTON, March 19 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with Payne County Stockyards LLC, of Perkins, Okla., on Feb. 12. 2024, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Payne waived its right to a hearing and paid a penalty of $3,000.

An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that Payne failed to maintain its custodial account properly, resulting in custodial shortages of $64,388 on May 10, 2023, and $162,603 on June 21, 2023. The shortages were due, in part, to the failure to deposit an amount equal to all the remaining proceeds receivable before the close of the seventh day following the sale of livestock.

A custodial account is a trust account designated for shippers’ proceeds from the sale of livestock in trust for sellers. Operating with custodial account shortages is a violation of the P&S Act and places livestock sellers at risk of not being paid timely or at all.

The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $33,896 per violation against any person after notice and opportunity for hearing on the record. USDA may offer alleged violators the option of waiving their right to a hearing and enter into a stipulation agreement to resolve alleged violations quickly.

The P&S Act is a fair-trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat and poultry industries. 

For further information about the Packers and Stockyards Act, contact Amy Blechinger, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (202) 720-5877 or by email at


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