On Tuesday, August 7, the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an Order levying a $10,000 fine against Roberts Seed, Inc. of Axtell. The Order also prohibits the company from engaging in any Grain Dealer activities without first obtaining a Grain Dealer License.
The Order follows a hearing held on June 18, in Minden, during which representatives of Roberts Seed, Inc. were required to show cause as to why the company should not be assessed civil penalties for operating as a Grain Dealer without a license.
During the hearing, evidence was presented indicating the company committed 25 violations in which it operated as an unlicensed Grain Dealer. A representative from Roberts Seed admitted to operating as a Grain Dealer without a license and apologized to the Commission for their actions.
“We appreciate the honesty of the company representatives, but we have a responsibility to the producers selling their product,” said John Fecht, Grain Department Director. “After being given ample opportunity to comply with PSC regulations, Roberts Seed chose to continue to conduct business without the proper authority to do so.”
The hearing followed numerous attempts by the PSC to work with the Seed Company. From April of 2017 through May 2018, the PSC Grain Department made multiple attempts to help the company complete the application process to become a Grain Dealer. Each time, company representatives indicated they would provide information, but failed to present all of the necessary documentation.
On May 15, 2018, the PSC issued an Order and a Complaint requiring Roberts Seed, Inc. to cease and desist all operations as a Grain Dealer in Nebraska. The cease and desist order for the company remains in effect.
Fecht said, “Should the company choose to comply, we would be happy to work with them on completing the application process. Until that time, they cannot legally act as a Grain Dealer in
the state of Nebraska.”