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Small farms fare poorly in antitrust cases

Small farmers have suffered from a string of recent appellate decisions forcing producers to show that tactics used against them as individuals have damaged competition generally.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Colorado cattleman Mike Callicrate and other ranchers won a $1.2 billion award from an Alabama jury in 2004 in a class-action lawsuit alleging anti-competitive behavior by meat packers.

But the trial judge overturned the award in Pickett vs. Tyson Fresh Meats. The ranchers lost their appeal and the Supreme Court denied review.

Callicrate said the packers put him out of business as punishment.

"They just wouldn't buy my cattle, the four big packers," he said. "They just decided they'd had enough. I had to close down my cattle operation. I had 14,000 head of cattle on feed when that happened."

Small farmers have poor record in antitrust cases

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