- Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media
Organic Grain Co-op Surrenders License
Nebraska-based Organic Producers of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota (OPINS) has reached a settlement with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to surrender its grain license in South Dakota for operating without a license from July 1, 2019 - November 8, 2021.
Under state law, a grain buyer operating without a license can be fined $1000 per grain purchase with a maximum fine of $20,000. According to records, there were at least 20 illegal grain purchases made by OPINS - but instead of paying the maximum fine, the co-op negotiated to pay a $5,000 fine and surrender its license. Part of the deal is that OPINS can now not get a new license until June 1, 2023.
Apparently, this was not the first time that OPINS failed to meet licensing requirements. In 2020, the co-op ran into trouble in Nebraska when the Nebraska Public Service Commission issued a cease and desist order against the business for letting its license lapse in 2019.