National Milk Producers Federation has settled a class-action lawsuit that claimed the organization was behind a price-fixing scheme.
The suit alleged that the federation paid over market prices to farmers to retire hundreds of cows, which were then killed. Cooperatives Working Together, a program devised by the federation, paid farmers extra money for the beef, according to a Casa Grande Dispatch article.
During the time the scheme was running, most Arizona dairy farmers were losing about $1 a day per cow, and many had over 2,000 cows, the United Dairymen of Arizona said, according to the article.
The federation settled for $52 million but did not admit it did anything wrong.
Residents in Arizona who purchased dairy products since 2003 were able to file a claim to receive a cash settlement. Each applicant could receive up to $70 from the organization, the Dispatch reported.
The federation includes the United Dairymen of Arizona, a cooperative that has over 90 farms in the state.
The lawsuit was filed in 2011 and involved 15 states.
Arizona has over 200,000 cows, which bring in more than $750 million in revenue worth of milk, according to the Dispatch. The Department of Agriculture brings in about $17.1 billion for the state, as well as 77,000 jobs.
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