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Mega Dairy Owner Files Bankruptcy

Photo: a dairy cow looks out from its barn at Lost Valley Farm in April 2018.

Summary. The owner of Lost Valley Farm, the new mega dairy near Boardman, Oregon, filed bankruptcy at the end of April but plans to continue operations.

Background. We have been part of a coalition of groups opposing Lost Valley Farm because we believe animal welfare suffers on large factory farms. In addition to trying to raise awareness about environmental and animal welfare issues associated with factory dairies, the coalition has opposed various permits that the dairy needs to operate. Most of those permits have been granted but we continue with other groups to oppose water rights applications that remain pending.

Current Status. Over the course of this year, numerous creditors sued the owner of the dairy, Gregory te Velde, claiming they were not getting paid what they were owed. One creditor, with a security interest in the dairy herd, got a court to approve an auction of the herd in late April. However, the day before the auction, te Velde filed bankruptcy in his home state of California, which "stayed" all actions by creditors, including the auction. Te Velde hopes to continue operations but the bankruptcy process will decide if he is able to do that.

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