News

A Good Deal Gone Bad

Jeff Todd interviewed about his representation of Oklahoma ranchers affected by the Eastern Livestock Company bankruptcy

published in Oklahoma Country | October 1, 2011

In the Fall 2011 edition of Oklahoma Country, a publication of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, writer Gail Banzet reported on how the 2010 shutdown and bankruptcy of cattle broker Eastern Livestock Company affected Oklahoma ranchers and what action the Oklahoma Legislature has taken since then to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again to cattle producers.

Jeff Todd , co-chair of McAfee & Taft’s Agriculture and Equine Industry Group, was interviewed for the article about his representation of ranchers affected by the Eastern Livestock Company bankruptcy and the role he played in helping draft the Livestock Owner’s Lien Act of 2011, legislation that prevents future good deals from going bad.

“We looked at ways to protect Oklahoma cattlemen through legislation,” Todd said. “The Oklahoma oil and gas industry had been through a similar situation in 2008 and 2009 as a result of the SemCrude bankruptcy. After analyzing that legislation, it became clear to me that a similar approach could provide additional protection to Oklahoma cattlemen.”

The result was SB 530, which was drafted by Todd, authored by Sen. Sean Burrage and Rep. Don Armes, and signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin in April 2011. The legislation, which is the first of its kind in the United States, “grants a statutory lien to Oklahoma cattle producers, which follows the cattle until the producer is actually paid for the cattle. This way, the rancher, the rancher’s bank and livestock auctions are paid the promised amount – no matter what.”

Todd credits the Oklahoma Farm Bureau for supporting the bill and for properly informing the members of the legislature about the provisions and worthiness of the legislation.