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Stamp Farms Declares Bankruptcy

December 4, 2012
By: Ben Potter, Social Media and Innovation Editor google + 

Top Producer learned today that Stamp Farms LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, Nov. 30, along with affiliate companies Stamp Farms Custom Ag LLC and Stamp Farms Trucking LLC. Estimated liabilities exceed $50 million, with more than 200 total creditors cited in the bankruptcy filings. Monsanto was the largest creditor listed, with a $3.9 million claim.

Mike Stamp received 2012 Top Producer of the Year Finalist honors, and Stamp Farms and Northstar Grain were featured on the cover of Top Producer’s November issue. The staff at Top Producer learned Nov. 9 that audits had revealed some irregularities and big changes were occurring at Stamp’s operations.

Were the qualities that made Stamp unique and interesting to profile, such as the rail expansion and the rapid growth, contributors to the problem? Time will tell, but Top Producer is committed to analyzing and learning from this situation and passing on to our readers what we learn.

To that end, look for reporting in the January 2013 issue on some best practices for farmers to approach growth responsibly on their own operation. Top Producer will provide additional updates as the situation continues to unfold.

You can see the following public-record legal documents for:

Stamp Farms LLC

Stamp Farms Trucking LLC

Stamp Farms Custom Ag LLC



Read the article about Stamp, Full-Circle Farming


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COMMENTS (21 Comments)

deeptiller - Stoughton, WI
You guys at top producer need to include thumbs up or thumbs down so that the readers can respond to these excellent responses!! You might be suprised how many farmers want Top Producer eliminated!
6:35 PM Jan 10th
PullMyFinger - Chappell, NE
Real top producers live within their means. Why glorify debt? First we had too big to fail rammed down our throats, now Congress wants us to swallow too rich to tax.
9:25 PM Dec 31st
Minnesota Farmer - Brownsdale, MN
perhaps the problem with your choices is that the people making the choices were educated in the colleges, and not on the farm in real situations and real responsibility. Any one can blow off at the mouth to other people in the media industry that were and are educated to believe the same things as each other so they can work with each other well. But that doesn't mean they have a clue in reality or have any earned common sense about whats realy at play on the farm because just like so many of our so called "professionals" they are not financially responsible for their decisions and most frequently they own nothing of real value other than a sheepskin. The same problem exist throughout corporate america today, same situationbecause people are in control because of thier education and not because of thier accomplishments.We need to look at what is done in Europe, they use appencticeship as well as education to advance their young people under a guided eye of someone who has been there and done that.
9:39 AM Dec 28th
iowafarmer - IA
when are people going to learn? the answer is never the way it seems. ego and greed seem to take over every "superfarmers" sense of reality. the saying is true...."a big farmer is the guy who farms one more acre than you do". almost everyone who farms today would not turn down a piece of ground if it was offered to them. it is how we grow that is the problem. door knocking on your neighbor's rented ground or even a friend's or families just to satisfy your ego or greed and/or both seems to be the norm these days.there have been alot of landlord's who while they were farming would say " I would never rent to that guy" who end up renting to "that guy" because he wrote the biggest check. like the saying says "what comes around goes around" is still true today and always will. I hope top producer will stop this contest or like one of you wrote ,go ask 10 or more neighbors what they think of a nominee because there some large farms who are well respected.
8:31 PM Dec 27th
flipped56 you have it just right.He should be in Jail , his wife and his brother in law also, and anyone else that was involved in defrauding the bank!
10:09 AM Dec 22nd
flipped56 - Sioux Falls, SD
Anyone can borrow beyond their means, bid everyone else out of the business, buy the biggest and best with other peoples' money knowing they cannot pay it back. What is their motivation? Pure Greed....the result of out of control capitalism. This is why regulation is warranted and definitely protect the rest of us from having to make up for these debts and all the "fun" he had pushing others out of the business. And at the same time getting falsely praised by the media for farming more that he can financially handle. This comes out of everyone else's pockets...the ones who did it right and didn't cheat. He should be in jail...not excused from debt.
12:10 PM Dec 20th
Are you going to report what happened in court today Dec 18 2012 at 9am at Federal Court in grand rapids Mi today?
9:28 PM Dec 18th
- Richland, MI
It's unfortunate that Mike Stamp was able to pull the wool over everyones eyes including Weel Fargo. It was nothing but lies.
8:39 AM Dec 16th
Maybe you should quit picking winners and losers, Your record is not all that great. When these houses of cards fall apart it is devastating to a community, the affects will be far reaching, employees lives are now in shambles, local businesses who extended credit may lose it all because of this, they will be the last creditor paid .
Just because a large part of the bad debt is laid at the feet of big banks, equipment companies and large companies like monsanto does not mean it wont affect local or even regional farmers. Creditors will change policy and it will be harder for other legitimate operations to get the credit they need. One cannot ignore the rules of economics, and growing at an economically sustainable rate and one that is not above ones ability to manage. Big operations are not the problem and consolidation will no doubt happen in all the sectors of agriculture
Long term decisions based on short term economics will always get one in trouble, and if your life is a blur that may be a clue that things are out of control or headed that way. just because a bank will loan you the money doesn't mean you should borrow it.
The real winners and top producers are the men and women that get up every morning and put their heads down and get to work, making the most of their God given talents and opportunities in a responsible way.
They are working and not looking to be in the next magazine article or have their face on the cover of a magazine.
What appears to be to good to be true usually is and I would expect your reporting to take that into account.
12:48 PM Dec 14th
Stamp farms ran up cash land rents in my county to unstanable levels and has cost and perhaps broke many good medium sized farmers.
8:20 PM Dec 9th



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