Andrew Bailey
Missouri Attorney General
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Attorney General Bailey Warns Missouri Farmers And Ranchers of Hay Scams

Home 9 Press Release 9 Attorney General Bailey Warns Missouri Farmers And Ranchers of Hay Scams

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn warn Missouri farmers and ranchers about hay scammers.

Attorney General Bailey and Director Chinn want to help Missouri farmers and ranchers avoid falling victim to predatory schemes, and reinforce that the Missouri Attorney General’s Office is ready to assist Missourians who believe they have been scammed.

The increased demand and low supply of hay caused by an unusually dry spring has resulted in a spike in hay prices, tempting scammers to take advantage of farmers in need. The fake ads, primarily posted on Facebook, do not appear to target Missourians specifically but have led to at least a dozen complaints by Missouri farmers. When farmers respond to a fake ad, they are told to wire money into a bank account, after which the hay will be delivered. But farmers do not receive the promised hay.

“Agriculture is vital to the success of our state, so I will always work to protect Missouri farmers and ranchers,” said Attorney General Bailey. “We will pursue anyone who attempts to take advantage of hardworking Missourians, especially those who are doing everything they can to survive the ongoing drought.”

“It is unfortunate that people are taking advantage of Missouri livestock producers during this difficult time of drought,” said Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn. “When feed costs are already high, the last thing producers need is to be scammed out of additional funds. On behalf of Missouri’s producers, I want to thank Attorney General Bailey for defending livestock owners who were compromised and helping to ensure these scams don’t continue.”

“Times are tough. The extreme drought is forcing cattle producers to feed hay early and make difficult decisions,” said Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Mike Deering. “People who would prey on families desperate for forage to take care of livestock need to feel the full heat of the law and be held accountable. Fortunately, we have an Attorney General with no tolerance for heartless thieves hell bent on taking advantage of farm and ranch families.”

Attorney General Bailey and Director Chinn provide the following tips to be vigilant when buying hay:

  • KNOW YOUR SELLER – Make sure you are buying hay from someone you know or make use of the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s hay directory, especially before you provide any personal financial information, which can be viewed here:
  • The University of Missouri Extension also provides a forum for buying and selling hay, which can be viewed here:
  • Missouri State Parks is offering emergency water and hay access for farmers in response to the worsening drought conditions, which can be accessed here:
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH – If you are unfamiliar with a particular seller, research the seller on the Attorney General’s or Better Business Bureau’s website for any complaints.
  • USE A CREDIT CARD – If you purchase hay online, it is recommended you complete your transaction with a credit card or cashier’s check. Purchasing a product with a credit card often provides you with protections that you would not otherwise have if you purchase it with cash, check, debit card, or apps like Cash App or Venmo.
  • REMEMBER – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Director Chinn estimates that the current rate for a large round bale of hay is between $100 and $125.

Attorney General Bailey encourages Missourians with complaints regarding a potential hay scam to contact the Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Complaint Hotline at 800-392-8222 or