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PUC Denies Grain License, as Frost Keeps Breaking Law

In May 2021, the Public Utilities Commission fined Jeremey Frost $20,000 for illegally purchasing grain without a license. Two years later, the PUC has denied Frost’s mom Jan Banghart a Class A grain-trading license and is investigating whether Banghart bought grain “far in excess” of the limits of her current Class B license and in violation of a January PUC cease-and-desist letter. Now as two years ago, Frost, who Banghart listed in a February 2021 letter as the “governing authority” of Banghart Properties, is telling the PUC that he is above the law:

Company owner Jan Banghart contracts with two grain marketers. One is her son Jeremey Frost of Onida, who had been fined by the commission several years ago for operating as an unlicensed grain trader. Frost had been a grain marketer for CHS before going on his own; he had testified on April 27 that he understood he was supposed to follow state laws but he would put farmers first if necessary.

…Commissioner Gary Hanson said that Banghart Properties appeared in many respects to qualify for a Class A license. “But what I find most troubling of the whole process is that Mister Frost stated he would continue to break the law to benefit the producer, and there’s alternatives to that, as has been explained,” Hanson said.

…“Flat truthfulness” was the first reason that commissioner Chris Nelson cited for denying Banghart’s Class A application.

“When we had testimony under oath they were complying with the cease and desist, and then we find out after that fact that that was not the case, we had a real issue with truthfulness,” Nelson said. “And we can’t issue a license to a business that our regulators, our inspectors and our farmers can’t trust. That’s basic” [Bob Mercer, “Banghart Properties Denies Class A Grain-Trading License,” KELO-TV, 2023.05.09].

And now as two years ago, Frost is making vague allegations that there’s some bigger picture that excuses his actions:

Frost addressed the commission during the public-comment period afterward.

…Frost told the commissioners their decision came at “a very high cost to the producers” and said, “You guys failed to realize what this whole thing was about.”

Frost told the commissioners they had ignored information he had sent alleging that Cody Chambliss, who oversees the commission’s grain-warehouse inspections, hadn’t been doing his job. Frost, sounding just as bristly as he did on April 27, said that “big ag” has been “screwing the farmers” and that producers have been paid late “all the time” throughout the industry.

“I take pride in doing what’s right for farmers,” Frost said. He added, “Guys don’t want to do business with companies that are ripping them off all the time” [Mercer, 2023.05.09].

In 2022, Frost and his mom incurred a $290,000 penalty from the Nebraska Public Service Commission for illegal grain trading. Frost remains embroiled in his third year of litigation against Indigo Ag of Massachusetts, which alleges Frost’s Fearless Grain marketing broke its contract, tortiously interfered with business relationships, and defamed Indigo Ag. In February, the U.S. District Court of Western Tennessee dismissed Frost’s counterclaim that Indigo Ag has failed to pay him over $1.9 million in commissions because Frost unable to produce any written contract showing he was engaged to do any such work for Indigo Ag. The remaining claims in the case are now scheduled for a jury trial in Tennessee federal court on September 18.


  1. Mark Anderson 2023-05-15 08:44

    Well this is a James Whitcomb Riley moment, all the way.

  2. R.+Kolbe 2023-05-16 08:27

    P U C. Hansen. (-)
    If both son and mother were in Jail
    it would be difficult for them to buy grain!
    Problem Solved

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