Dairy Feed Settlement

CASE UPDATE (9/3/2013):

On Wednesday, August 21, 2013, the Court approved the Special Master's Report and Recommendations regarding disbursements as well as the Final Claimant List in this matter. You can view this document by selecting the link below:

In accordance with the Final Judgment, the Settlement Administrator has twenty (20) business days to commence disbursing payments to applicable class members. Claimants should begin to receive payments by the end of September 2013. If you have not received payment by October 15, 2013, feel free to contact the office of the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-757-0795.


CASE UPDATE (7/25/2013):

On Monday, July 22, 2013, the Special Master filed the Special Master’s Report and Recommendations regarding disbursements along with a final claimant list in the settlement with the United States District Court. At the same time, the Special Master also filed a motion for the District Court to accept and approve the recommendations and instruct the Settlement Administrator to begin the process of issuing disbursement awards. You can view these documents by selecting the links below:

No checks can be distributed until the District Judge acts upon the Special Master's Report and Recommendations. This is expected to take several weeks. Please continue to check this website for further updates as they become available.

If you are a claimant, you may wish to consult an attorney or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure concerning your rights. If you have additional questions regarding this process, please refer to section 9 of the Stipulation of Settlement or contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-757-0795.

CASE UPDATE (7/17/2013):

The Settlement Administrator has now completed its procedure for handling objections to late claims and allocation amounts. The Settlement Administrator is currently finalizing a Report and Recommendations and Final Claimant List, both of which will be submitted to the United States District Court in the near future, most likely before the end of July.

Until the Report and Recommendations are filed, there is no further action that needs to be taken by claimants, class counsel, or Cargill. If you have any questions, please contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-757-0795.

CASE UPDATE (2/6/2013):

Allocation letters were mailed on February 1, 2013. You have the right to object to the applicable claimed tonnage associated with your claim or to your overall allocation amount (in dollars). All objections must be received by the Settlement Administrator no later than March 4, 2013 to be considered timely. In addition, you will have to follow all guidelines for objecting as outlined within your allocation letter. If you have not received your allocation letter, please contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-757-0795.

CASE UPDATE (11/8/2012):

The Fairness Hearing was held on November 7, 2012 in Shreveport, Louisiana. The following update from the court can be found in the document titled Fairness Hearing Minutes posted in the Case Documents (found on the right sidebar of this web page):

"The Court held a Fairness Hearing pursuant to its Order of June 4,2012 [Record Document #323] to address the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the proposed settlement, whether the class should be certified for settlement purposes, and any objections made by the settlement class members.

The Court noted that the hearing had been publicly noticed and also polled the Courtroom for objections. No objections to the settlement were heard. Relying on the joint work of all counsel, CADA analysis, and the Special Master's report, the Court granted [328] Joint Motion for Final Approval of Class Settlement and Certifying the Settlement Class. The Court found the settlement to be fair, reasonable, and adequate; certified the class for settlement purposes only; and dismissed this matter with prejudice. A written final order and judgment shall issue forthwith.

The Court granted [329] Motion to Approve Attorneys' Fees and Application for Approval of Enhancement Awards. Attorneys' fees in the amount of $9,166,666.66 were approved, as the Court found such fees to be reasonable and divided fairly between counsel. The Court further awarded enhancement awards to the named Plaintiffs in accordance with Section 10.2 of the Settlement Agreement. A formal written order as to attorneys' fees and enhancement awards will also issue forthwith."

For additional information regarding the court's rulings, please refer to the document titled Final Order and Judgment (found on the right sidebar of this web page).

Burford et al. v Cargill, Inc.
Case No. 05-0283

If you purchased Cargill customized dairy feed that you fed to lactating or dry cows between January 1, 2001 and March 31, 2012, you may qualify for benefits from a class action settlement.

Set forth below is information related to the settlement.

IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES

Below are important dates and deadlines relating to the settlement, which are explained more fully in the sections below:
  1. Deadline to Exclude yourself: 9/14/2012
  2. Deadline to Object: 9/14/2012
  3. Deadline to Submit a Claim: 9/14/2012
  4. Fairness Hearing: 11/7/2012

Basic Information

The purpose of this Notice is to inform you of the following:
  1. A settlement class of which you may be a member has been conditionally certified for consideration of a proposed settlement;
  2. A settlement agreement that provides for the payment of claims to settlement class members and the dismissal of the lawsuit described below was entered into in April 2012 and submitted to the District Court for its approval;
  3. You must submit a valid and timely Claim Form in order to be eligible to receive a payment;
  4. A hearing on the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the proposed settlement will be held on November 7, 2012, at the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division;
  5. You have the right to be excluded from the proposed settlement; and
  6. You have the right to appear either personally or through an attorney at the above hearing.

Your legal rights will be affected by this Action and this Settlement whether you act or do not act. Please read your legal rights and options carefully.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT
SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM This is the only way to receive a payment. You will give up your legal rights to be part of any other lawsuit about the claims in this case.
EXCLUDE YOURSELF You will not receive a payment. This is the only option that allows you to be part of any other lawsuit about the claims in this case.
OBJECT Write to the District Court about why don’t like the settlement.
GO TO A HEARING Ask to speak in court about the fairness of the settlement.
DO NOTHING You will not be eligible to receive a payment. You will still give up your rights to be part of any other lawsuit about the claims in this case.


WHAT THIS NOTICE CONTAINS

(Click on any of the links below to skip to its respective section of the notice.)

I. SUMMARY OF THE LAWSUIT
II. SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT
    A. Persons Who Can Participate in the Settlement
    B. Total Settlement Payable to the Class
    C. Class Counsel Attorneys’ Fees and Plaintiff Enhancement Awards
    D. Administrative Expenses
    E. Exclusions
    F. Non-Monetary Relief
    G. Residual Payment
    H. Prior Releases
    I. Method for Calculating the Amount of Individual Settlement Claims
III. CLAIMS PROCESS: TO PARTICIPATE, YOU MUST SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM BY SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
IV. EXAMPLES OF SETTLEMENT CALCULATIONS
V. EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT: YOU MUST GIVE NOTICE BY SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
VI. OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT: YOU MUST OBJECT BY SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
VII. CONDITIONAL CLASS CERTIFICATION
VIII. FAIRNESS HEARING TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 7, 2012
IX. EFFECT OF FINAL COURT APPROVAL OF THE SETTLEMENT
X. GETTING MORE INFORMATION


I. SUMMARY OF THE LAWSUIT
This lawsuit was started by John Burford on December 21, 2004 through the filing of a Petition against Cargill in the Eleventh Judicial District Court for the Parish of Desoto, Louisiana, on December 21, 2004, where it was assigned court number 65167. On February 7, 2005, Cargill removed this lawsuit to the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division, where it was assigned Civil Action No. 05-0283. In 2006, Burford sought and received approval from the District Court to request that this lawsuit be certified as a national class action. Diane Lourenco of J&D Lourenco Dairies was added as the second plaintiff shortly thereafter. In 2007, plaintiffs sought and received approval to add 38 new plaintiffs. One plaintiff has since been dismissed, leaving 39 current plaintiffs (collectively “Plaintiffs”). The most recent complaint in this matter is Plaintiffs’ Fourth Amended Complaint, filed May 7, 2010. The District Court has not determined whether this lawsuit may proceed as a class action for purposes of a trial, but both Plaintiffs and Cargill believe that it is the best interests of the proposed settlement class and their own best interests to resolve the litigation now.

As described in more detail in the Fourth Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs allege, on behalf of themselves and a class of other dairy farmers who purchased Cargill customized dairy feed, that after the initial sale, and without notice to the dairy farmers, Cargill changes the composition of the feed to include lower quality ingredients in a manner that reduces the benefit to the dairy cows and the dairy farm, causing property damage, including injury to cattle and loss of milk production.

Plaintiffs maintain that Cargill committed fraud, breach of warranty, and violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c). Plaintiffs firmly believe that Cargill’s practice of ingredient substitution resulted in feed that was inadequate to support reasonable milk production, body condition, and disease-resistance in dairy cattle. Plaintiffs are confident that they would ultimately be successful in this litigation, but after taking into account the uncertainty and risks inherent in any litigation, particularly in complex cases such as this lawsuit, Plaintiffs have concluded that further prosecution of this lawsuit would be protracted and risky. Therefore, Plaintiffs believe that settlement of the class claims is in the best interests of the class.

Cargill vigorously denies each and all of the claims and contentions alleged by Plaintiffs in this lawsuit. Specifically, Cargill denies all allegations of wrongdoing or liability alleged in this lawsuit, including the allegations that Plaintiffs or any members of the alleged class suffered damage as a result of the actions alleged in the lawsuit, and all allegations in the lawsuit that the alleged class should be certified for purposes other than settlement.

Cargill firmly believes that its nutrient-based approach to feed formulation, which necessarily involves adjustments in ingredient inclusion levels in order to maintain the consistency of the nutritional profile, was adequately disclosed to its dairy farmer customers. Cargill strongly believes that adjustments to ingredient inclusion levels are in the best interests of dairy farmers, as this is an important process to help producers maintain an efficient cost of production as market prices change. Cargill is confident that it would ultimately be successful in this litigation, but after taking into account the uncertainty and risks inherent in any litigation, especially in complex cases such as this lawsuit, Cargill has concluded that further prosecution of this lawsuit would be protracted and expensive. Therefore, Cargill believes that, for settlement purposes only, the alleged class in this lawsuit should be certified and this lawsuit be fully and finally settled as described in this Notice. Most importantly, Cargill would like to focus its entire energy into serving its dairy customers.

Plaintiffs and Cargill have negotiated a settlement that they believe is in the best interests of the conditional settlement class members and of the parties to the litigation. Counsel for the conditional settlement class (“Class Counsel”) have entered into the agreement after weighing the substantial benefits that the conditional settlement class will receive as a result of the settlement against the probabilities of success and failure in securing any recovery from Cargill by means of further litigation. Class Counsel and the Plaintiffs believe it is in the best interest of the settlement class that the claims be settled according to the terms of the settlement agreement and believe that the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate for the settlement class.

The District Court is not expressing any opinion in this Notice about the merits of any of the issues, claims, or defenses that any of the parties have asserted in this lawsuit. For additional information about this lawsuit, you may inspect the pleadings, the orders of the District Court, and other papers filed in this lawsuit at the Clerk of Court, located at 300 Fannin Street; Shreveport, Louisiana; 71101; during regular business hours. You may also contact the attorneys for the Plaintiffs and the settlement class, Sam N. Gregorio – Gregorio, Gregory, Chafin & Johnson, 7600 Fern Avenue, Building 700, Shreveport, Louisiana, 71105 at (318) 865-8680.

II. SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT The parties have entered into a settlement agreement entitled Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement (“the Settlement Agreement”). All of the details about the settlement are in this Settlement Agreement, which has been filed with the District Court. You can inspect a copy of this Settlement Agreement at the office of the Clerk of Court, located at 300 Fannin Street; Shreveport, Louisiana; during regular business hours. You may also call the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-757-0795 and request a copy. The settlement will only become effective if approved by the District Court and upheld on appeal, if there is any appeal. A summary of the terms of the settlement are set forth below.

A. Persons Who Can Participate in the Settlement
You may be able to participate in the settlement if you purchased Customized Dairy Feed (defined as feed for dairy animals, the formula for which was created by Cargill for you or was specifically created for you by a non-Cargill employee using a Cargill proprietary software program) in the United States from January 1, 2001 through March 31, 2012, and fed to your dairy cows in whole or in part as a Lactating Ration (defined as a ration fed to dairy cows giving milk to be sold commercially) or a Dry Ration (defined as a ration fed to pregnant dairy animals to prepare them for giving milk to be sold commercially). If you purchased customized products for resale or that were formulated by an independent nutritionist or consultant (i.e., not a Cargill employee) who controlled the nutrition and submitted a formula to Cargill for manufacture, you cannot participate in the settlement. Anyone who has been an officer, director, or employee of Cargill or any affiliated company since 2001 cannot participate in the settlement.

B. Total Settlement Payable to the Class
The Settlement Agreement provides for a settlement payment of up to a maximum of $27,500,000 by Cargill. This amount will be used to pay all claims made by settlement class members, attorneys’ fees for Class Counsel, plaintiff enhancement awards, and the costs of administering the proposed settlement.

C. Class Counsel Attorneys’ Fees and Plaintiff Enhancement Awards
The District Court has appointed Gregorio, Gregory, Chafin & Johnson and the Law Office of Harry DeHaan as Class Counsel. The District Court will conduct a Fairness Hearing and will determine the amount of attorney’s fees and expenses to be awarded to Class Counsel. Class Counsel will ask the District Court to be paid from the total settlement funds. Class Counsel will ask the District Court for attorney’s fees and expenses of $9,166,166.67, one-third of the total cash settlement. Plaintiffs will ask the District court for enhancement awards totaling $365,000 to the 39 Plaintiffs for their time and effort representing the class. The attorneys’ fees and plaintiff enhancement awards will be subtracted from the payment in Section II (B) above before the distribution to the class pursuant to Section II (I) below.

D. Administrative Expenses
The settlement will be administered by the Settlement Administrator, which includes both a Special Master and a Court-Appointed Disbursing Agent (CADA). The parties have agreed upon attorney Daniel J. Balhoff as the Special Master and accounting firm Postlethwaite & Netterville as the CADA to ensure that due diligence is used in locating all potential class members, processing claims, and making payments. The costs of the settlement administration will be subtracted from the payment in Section II (B) above before the distribution to the class pursuant to Section II (I) below.

E. Exclusions
As explained in Part V below, you have the option of excluding yourself from this settlement. There is a provision in the Settlement Agreement under which Cargill has the option of terminating the settlement if a certain number of settlement class members or settlement class members representing a certain volume of feed choose to be excluded from the settlement.

F. Non-Monetary Relief
Cargill firmly believes that its communications with customers have adequately disclosed that adjustments in ingredient inclusion levels in order to maintain the consistency of the nutritional profile are a core component of its nutrient-based approach to dairy nutrition. To further benefit the settlement class, Cargill is agreeing to inform its dairy customers of its practice of adjusting ingredient inclusion levels in order to maintain the consistency of the targeted nutritional profile through the attached document entitled “The Cargill Nutrient-Based Approach to Dairy Nutrition.” Cargill is agreeing to use, at least through the end of 2013, this or a similar document that that generally discloses that ingredient levels in Cargill’s customized dairy feed will change over time for various reasons (such as changes in the nutrient content of on-farm ingredients, changes in ingredient supplies, or changes in market prices). Cargill will periodically make the attached (or similar) document available to dairy customers by:

(a) posting it on the Cargill website at www.cargill.com/dairy;
(b) providing it to all dairy customers purchasing directly from Cargill on a quarterly basis with their statements; and
(c) including it as part of the “new customer” packet provided to new dairy customers that includes marketing materials and a credit application.

G. Residual Payment
There is a provision in the Settlement Agreement providing that if the volume of valid claims (determined by tonnage) falls below a certain threshold, then Cargill may receive the return of a portion of the $27,500,000 settlement fund (no more than $2,750,000, 10% of the fund, will be returned).

H. Prior Releases
Your ability to participate in the settlement or the amount of your payment may be affected if you have previously signed a release with Cargill. If you have previously signed a full and valid release that released Cargill from the claims asserted in this lawsuit, you will not be able to recover for any purchases covered by the release, but you may be able to recover for later purchases.

I. Method for Calculating the Amount of Individual Settlement Claims
YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO CALCULATE YOUR CLAIM. The Settlement Administrator will make the calculations for you from information contained in its records, Cargill’s records, information you provide on the Claim Form, and records you submit if the Settlement Administrator requests that you do so.

To recover under this settlement, you must complete the Claim Form and return it to the Settlement Administrator. Your completed Claim Form will be reviewed by the Settlement Administrator, who will determine the volume of feed that qualifies for a settlement payment. The volume of feed that qualifies for a settlement payment will be known as Qualifying Tons for purposes of this settlement. You will receive a pro rata share of the settlement based on the ratio of your Qualifying Tons to the number of Total Qualifying Tons of all Claimants, subject to the reductions identified in Sections C, D, and G above. Your number of Qualifying Tons may be adjusted depending on whether you have certain documents relevant to and supporting your claim.

More details about the method for calculating individual claims are provided in Section IV below.

III. CLAIMS PROCESS: TO PARTICIPATE, YOU MUST SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM BY SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
To become eligible for a cash payment you must mail a completed Claim Form to the Settlement Administrator. The Claim Form is attached to this Notice. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the Claim Form completely, sign it, have it notarized, add postage, and mail it so that the Settlement Administrator receives it by September 14, 2012. If you mail your Claim Form so late that it is not received until after this deadline, you will not be eligible to receive any cash payment from this settlement. It is recommended that you keep a copy of the completed Claim Form. The Claim Form should be mailed to:

Burford Litigation Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 82565
Baton Rouge, LA 70884

If you submit a Claim Form to the Settlement Administrator, the Settlement Administrator will send you a letter once the deadline for submission of all claim forms has passed. That letter will identify the approximate amount of money, if any, you will receive through the settlement. If the Settlement Administrator has determined that your Claim Form was invalid or untimely, it will tell you that, as well as the reason why. You will then have an opportunity to appeal the Settlement Administrator’s decisions to the District Court. The District Court will have the final, binding, and non-appealable authority to decide these matters.

IV. EXAMPLES OF SETTLEMENT CALCULATIONS
This section provides examples of settlement calculations and payouts to help you better understand the settlement and the payment criteria. Some definitions may help you understand these examples. Everyone who submits a valid claim form is a “Claimant.” Settlement payments are based on tons of eligible products purchased. The number of tons purchased by an individual Claimant for which payment will be made are called “Qualifying Tons.” The number of tons for which payment will be made for all Claimants are called “Total Qualifying Tons.” “Required Documents” are those documents described in more detail in Question 9 of the Claim Form. If you are unable to confirm that you have both types of Required Documents, then your claim will be reduced by 50%. A release that will prevent you for recovering for the period of time covered by the release is called a “Full Release.” “Customized Dairy Feed,” “Lactating Ration,” and “Dry Ration” are defined in Section II(A) above. Please understand that it is impossible to provide scenarios that will cover the exact situation of every settlement class member and thus these examples should be treated as hypothetical. The Total Qualifying Tons cannot be determined until the time for filing a claim has passed and therefore these are only illustrative examples used to better explain the method that will be used to calculate individual claims.

In Examples 1 through 4 below, it is assumed that there are 6 million Total Qualifying Tons from all Claimants approved as part of the settlement. It is further assumed that there will be $17,500,000 available to distribute among the Claimants.

Example 1:
Farmer A milks 250 cows and purchased 3,000 tons of Customized Dairy Feed from August 2007 through March 2011, and believes to have suffered harm from January 2010 through March 2011. The Settlement Administrator determines that Farmer A purchased 1,200 tons of Customized Dairy Feed fed in whole or in part as a Lactating Ration or Dry Ration from January 2010 through March 2011 (1,600 tons were not counted because they did not fall within the claimed period of harm and an additional 200 tons were not counted because they were fed to calves and heifers in non-qualifying rations). Farmer A has the Required Documents concerning his purchases and harm. For purposes of the settlement, Farmer A has 1,200 Qualifying Tons. 1,200 tons is .02% of the 6 million Total Qualifying Tons, so Farmer A receives .02% of the $17,500,000 available to the class, for a total of $3,500.00. If Farmer A did not have the Required Documents, his total would be reduced by 50%.

Example 2:
Farmer B milks 2,500 cows and purchased 15,000 tons of Customized Dairy Feed from 2004 through 2008, and believes to have suffered harm from January 2006 through November 2008. The Settlement Administrator determines that 10,000 tons were purchased from January 2006 to November 2008, and that all 10,000 tons were fed in whole or in part as a Lactating Ration or Dry Ration. Farmer B has the Required Documents concerning his purchases and harm. Farmer B’s number of Qualifying Tons is therefore 10,000 tons. 10,000 tons is .1667% of the 6 million Total Qualifying Tons, so Farmer B receives .1667% of the $17,500,000 available to the class, for a total of $29,172.50.

Example 3:
Farmer C purchased 3,000 tons of Customized Dairy Feed from 2001 through 2003. Farmer C runs a calf raising facility and all of the Customized Dairy Feed Farmer C purchased from Cargill was fed to calves in non-qualifying rations. Farmer C has no Qualifying Tons and receives no settlement money.

Example 4:
Farmer D uses the services of an independent nutritionist who uses non- Cargill software to balance rations and create feed formulas. For the last several years, the independent nutritionist has been submitting certain feed formulas to Cargill to manufacture the feed. The independent nutritionist did not use Cargill’s proprietary software in creating the formula for this feed. Because Cargill was not involved in the creation of the feed formula, this feed does not qualify as Customized Dairy Feed, Farmer D cannot make a valid claim as part of this settlement, and therefore Farmer D receives no settlement money.

In Examples 5 through 7 below, it is assumed that there are 3 million Total Qualifying Tons from all Claimants approved as part of the settlement. It is further assumed that there will be $17,500,000 available to distribute among the Claimants.

Example 5:
This example is the same as Example 1 above, except for the different number of Total Qualifying Tons from all Claimants. The 1,200 Qualified Tons from Farmer A is .04% of the 3 million Total Qualifying Tons, so Farmer A receives .04% of the $17,500,000 available to the class, for a total of $7,000.00. The different result between Examples 1 and 5 is solely due to the lower number of Total Qualifying Tons approved for the settlement class as a whole, meaning that Farmer A has a larger share of the settlement fund in Example 5 as compared to Example 1.

Example 6:
Farmer E milks 1,000 cows and purchased 8,000 tons of Customized Dairy Feed from March 2008 through March 2012, and believes to have suffered harm from October 2009 through March 2012. The Settlement Administrator determines that 5,000 tons were purchased from October 2009 through March 2012 that were fed in whole or in part as a Lactating Ration or Dry Ration. Farmer E does not have the Required Documents concerning his purchases and harm. Farmer E’s number of Qualifying Tons is therefore 2,500 tons, one-half of 5,000. 2,500 tons is .0833% of the 3 million Total Qualifying Tons, so Farmer E receives .0833% of the $17,500,000 available to the class, for a total of $14,577.50.

Example 7:
Farmer F places his Claim Form in the mail on the last day for submitting claims. It is not received by the Settlement Administrator until after the deadline. Farmer F receives no settlement money, but is bound by the Settlement Agreement and his claims are barred.

In Examples 8 and 9 below, it is assumed that there are 1.5 million Total Qualifying Tons from all Claimants approved as part of the settlement. Accounting for the residual described in Section II(G) above, it is further assumed that there will be $15,500,000 available to distribute among the Claimants.

Example 8:
This example is the same as Example 6 above, except for the different number of Total Qualifying Tons from all Claimants and the residual. The 2,500 Qualified Tons from Farmer E is .1667% of the 1.5 million Total Qualifying Tons, so Farmer E receives .1667% of the $15,500,000 available to the class, for a total of $25,838.50. The different result between Examples 6 and 8 is primarily because of the lower number of Total Qualifying Tons approved for the settlement class as a whole, meaning that Farmer E has a larger share of the settlement fund in Example 8 as compared to Example 6.

Example 9:
Farmer G milks 100 cows and purchased 1,500 tons of Customized Dairy Feed from 2004 through 2008 and believes to have suffered harm from January 2005 through December 2006. The Settlement Administrator determines that 600 tons were purchased from January 2007 through December 2008 and fed in whole or in part as a Lactating Ration or Dry Ration. Farmer G has the Required Documents concerning his purchases and harm. Farmer G’s number of Qualifying Tons is therefore 600 tons. 600 tons is .04% of the 1.5 million Total Qualifying Tons, so Farmer G receives .04% of the $15,500,000 available to the class, for a total of $6,200.00.

V. EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT: YOU MUST GIVE NOTICE BY SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
If you wish to preserve your legal rights to bring a separate lawsuit against Cargill for the claims asserted in this lawsuit, you may do so by excluding yourself from the settlement class. In such event, you will not receive a payment from this settlement, and you must take certain steps to end your participation in this lawsuit. If you do not exclude yourself, you will participate in and be bound by the class settlement, if it receives final judicial approval, and you will be precluded from bringing a lawsuit in any court arising out of your purchases of Customized Dairy Feed from January 1, 2001 through March 31, 2012 to be fed in whole or in part as a Lactating Ration or a Dry Ration. If you exclude yourself, you will not be bound by the settlement, Class Counsel will not represent you, the Settlement Administrator will have no further contact with you on this issue, and you will lose any right to participate in the class settlement. You will also lose the right to have objections to the class settlement considered by the court before it rules on whether to approve the class settlement.

To exclude yourself from the class, you must mail a written request stating that you “request exclusion from the settlement class in the Burford et al. v. Cargill lawsuit.” In addition, your request must include your name, current address, telephone number, and your signature, which must be notarized. The signature must be original; copies of signatures are not valid. You must mail your written request so that it is received by the Settlement Administrator no later than September 14, 2012. You cannot exclude yourself by telephone, facsimile, or email. The Settlement Administrator’s decision as to whether a request for exclusion is valid or invalid or whether a request for exclusion is timely or untimely is final, binding, and nonappealable. Send your written request to:

Burford Litigation Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 82565
Baton Rouge, LA 70884

VI. OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT: YOU MUST OBJECT BY SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
If you are a settlement class member (and you have not excluded yourself), you can object to the proposed settlement if you do not like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the District Court should not approve the settlement. The District Court will consider your views. To object, you must send a signed letter saying that you object to the proposed settlement in “the Burford et al. v. Cargill lawsuit.” The letter must include all of the following:

(a) your name, address, and telephone number;
(b) your specific objection or objections to the proposed settlement;
(c) the specific reason(s) for each of your objections, including the legal support for each objection, and any evidence in support of each objection;
(d) a statement of whether you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing;
(e) a list of witnesses, if any, whom you may call during the Fairness Hearing;
(f) a list of exhibits that you may offer during the Fairness Hearing, along with copies of those exhibits; and
(g) your original signature or the signature of your attorney, if you have one.

Your letter must be mailed to each of the following addresses so that it is received no later than September 14, 2012:

The District Court
Clerk of Court
United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division
300 Fannin Street
Shreveport, LA 71101

Settlement Administrator
Burford Litigation Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 82565
Baton Rouge, LA 70884

Class Counsel
Sam N. Gregorio
Gregorio, Gregory, Chafin & Johnson
7600 Fern Avenue, Building 700
Shreveport, LA 71105
Phone: (318) 865-8680

Cargill’s Counsel
Mark J. Carpenter
Kim J. Walker
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
2200 Wells Fargo Center
90 South Seventh Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402-3901

You may object either on your own or through an attorney that you hire at your own expense. If you do hire an attorney to represent you, your attorney must file a Notice of Appearance with the Clerk of Court and deliver a copy of the Notice of Appearance to Class Counsel and Cargill’s Counsel no later than September 14, 2012.

If you do not follow the directions in this Notice for objecting to the settlement, you will forfeit any rights that you may have to object and/or appeal this settlement. You will be bound by all the terms of the settlement, including the releases, and by all proceedings, orders, and judgments in this lawsuit. The District Court’s decision as to whether your objection has complied with the provisions of this section is final, binding, and nonappealable.

VII. CONDITIONAL CLASS CERTIFICATION
Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the District Court has preliminarily approved the terms of the settlement as set forth in the Settlement Agreement. This Notice is being sent to persons who may be members of the conditional settlement class, which the District Court has certified only for settlement purposes. The conditional settlement class consists of all persons who purchased Customized Dairy Feed (defined as feed for dairy animals, the formula for which was created by Cargill for you or was specifically created for you by a non-Cargill employee using a Cargill software program) from January 1, 2001 through March 31, 2012, and fed to that person’s dairy cows in whole or in part as a Lactating Ration (defined as a ration fed to dairy cows giving milk to be sold commercially) or a Dry Ration (defined as a ration fed to pregnant dairy animals to prepare them for giving milk to be sold commercially). A Dry Ration would include rations commonly referred to as “Far Off” or “Close Up” rations. Excluded from the settlement class are Cargill, its subsidiary and affiliated entities, and each of their officers, directors, and employees, and anyone who is or has been employed by Cargill or its subsidiary and affiliated entities since January 1, 2001.

The District Court has not certified a class in this case for any other purpose and has made no determination that any class could be certified if this case is not settled and litigation continues. Although the District Court has indicated preliminary approval of the settlement, this Notice is not an expression of any opinion of the District Court as to the merits of any of the claims or defenses of the parties. If the proposed settlement is not approved, the conditional class certification will be null and void and this lawsuit will continue as if there had been no settlement, conditional certification, or Notice.

VIII. FAIRNESS HEARING TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 7, 2012
The District Court has preliminarily approved the proposed settlement. The District Court will hold a Fairness Hearing to decide whether to finally approve the proposed settlement. The District Court will hold the Fairness Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on November 7, 2012, at the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division, located at 300 Fannin Street; Courtroom 1, Shreveport, Louisiana; 71101. You may attend in person, but you are not required to do so. There will be no provision made for attendance by telephone or other remote methods.

At this hearing, the District Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the District Court will consider them. The District Court will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The District Court will also decide whether to approve Class Counsel’s request for payment of fees, costs, and expenses.

Settlement class members do not need to appear at the hearing or take any other action to indicate that they approve of the settlement. Class Counsel will answer questions the District Court may have about the settlement on behalf of the settlement class. But if you would like to attend the hearing, you are welcome to do so at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to the court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection as required in Section VI above the District Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary to appear through a lawyer. You may also ask to speak at the hearing if you object to the settlement. If you wish to present evidence at the hearing about your objection, you must identify that evidence in your written objection, including exhibits you intend to offer, witnesses you intend to call, and a brief summary of the evidence you intend to present.

You cannot speak at the fairness hearing if you excluded yourself.

IX. EFFECT OF FINAL COURT APPROVAL OF THE SETTLEMENT
If the settlement is approved, the District Court will enter an order and judgment dismissing the lawsuit on the merits with prejudice and discharging the Released Parties from all Released Claims.

Released Parties means Cargill Incorporated d/b/a Cargill Animal Nutrition, CAN Technologies, Inc., and feed and grain mills owned by Cargill, and all of their current or former respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, owners, successors, predecessors, shareholders, directors, officers, employees, agents, attorneys, representatives, indemnitors, insurers, reinsurers, trustees, and other entities who have assumed or are liable for any obligations on their behalf.

Released Claims means any and all claims for relief, any and all allegations of liability, and any and all demands for damages or equitable relief, whether relating to property damage, personal injury, economic loss, tort, contract, warranty, fraud, or any other legal theory, cause of action, or type of damages, that have been, could have been, may be, or could be asserted in any court action, whether federal, state, or otherwise, or before any administrative body, regardless of whether based on federal state, or local law, statute, ordinance, regulation, contract, common law, or any other source, and regardless of whether foreseen or unforeseen, suspected or unsuspected, or fixed or contingent at the time of this settlement that are based upon, related to, or connected with, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part to (a) the allegations in the Fourth Amended Complaint and prior complaints and petitions in this Action and (b) any acts, omissions, or communications by any of the Released Parties that are related in any way to the manufacture, sale, distribution, or marketing of Customized Dairy Feed to be fed in whole or in part as a Lactating Ration or Dry Ration from January 1, 2001 through March 31, 2012. The Released Claims do not include claims for breach of the Settlement Agreement.

If any notice of an appeal from the Final Approval Order or the judgment provided therein is timely filed by any party, objector, claimant, or other person, the settlement will not be or become final or effective, neither Cargill nor the Settlement Administrator will have any obligation to make any payment to any Claimant, unless and until such appeal has been finally adjudicated and the Final Approval Order, including the judgment therein, has been upheld in all respects.

IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE CONDITIONAL SETTLEMENT CLASS, UNLESS YOU HAVE CHOSEN AFFIRMATIVELY TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE SETTLEMENT CLASS, UPON COURT APPROVAL OF THE SETTLEMENT YOU WILL BE BOUND BY THE SETTLEMENT, INCLUDING THE JUDGMENT OF DISMISSAL. IN ORDER TO POTENTIALLY RECEIVE MONEY FROM THE SETTLEMENT, YOU MUST SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM.

X. GETTING MORE INFORMATION
This Notice summarizes the proposed settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement, which has been filed with the District Court. You can inspect a copy of the Settlement Agreement at the office of the Clerk of Court located at 300 Fannin Street; Shreveport, Louisiana; 71101, during regular business hours. You may also call the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-757-0795 and ask questions about the settlement and/or to request that a copy of the Settlement Agreement be provided to you. Additional documentation can be found at the top of this page under "Case Documents".

Please do not call the District Court, the Clerk of Court, or Cargill for additional information about the settlement.