UPDATED: United Potato not protected by Capper-Volstead

12/13/2011 01:02:00 PM
Andy Nelson

Randon Wilson, a Salt Lake City-based attorney who has helped found several agricultural co-ops, including United Potato, and who provides outside counsel to the co-op, said that no other court in the 85 years since Capper-Volstead was passed has ruled as Winmill did, specifically on the issue of “production controls” — limits placed on plantings.

As the case progresses, Wilson said attorneys for United Potato will be able to make a more comprehensive argument in favor of United Potato’s protection under Capper-Volstead, and he is optimistic Winmill will change his mind.

That said, United Potato is not taking the ruling lightly, Wilson said. Nor are other agricultural co-ops.

“I’ve had calls from several co-ops, people asking ‘What’s going on?’” he said. “Obviously this ruling is of concern for co-ops across the land.”

While the lawsuit against United Potato and some individual grower-shippers will proceed, Winmill granted requests for dismissal filed by United Potato Growers of Canada and five grower-shippers:


  • Dole Food Co. Inc.
  • Potandon Produce LLC
  • R.D. Offut Co.
  • Pleasant Valley Potato Inc.
  • Idahoan Foods LLC

Plaintiffs can, however, filed amended complaints against Potandon, Offut, Pleasant Valley and Idahoan Foods. They may not file them against Dole or United Potato Growers of Canada.

The Idaho court did not dismiss charges against individual grower-shippers Blaine Larsen Farms, Driscoll Potatoes Inc. and Rigby Produce Inc.

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