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    Farmland Begins Layoffs

    More than 100 terminated at convenience stores, company headquarters.

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Farmland Industries Inc. on Monday terminated 103 management and administrative employees, including 47 at it Kansas City headquarters.

    The cuts amounted to about 6 percent of the 1,682 management and administrative positions companywide. With yesterday's announcement, the cooperative has eliminated 300 positions since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection May 31. In early June the company closed a chain of convenience stores in northeast Arkansas, affecting 177 full- and part-time employees. The company has approximately 9,000 employees.

    Farmland, the nation's largest farmer-owned cooperative, listed liabilities of $1.9 billion and assets of $2.7 billion when it filed for Chapter 11, making it the largest bankruptcy of a Kansas City company, according to The Kansas City Star.

    "We have sized our work force appropriately for the work ahead of us," Farmland chief executive Bob Terry said in a statement. "However, it is possible that additional positions may be affected as we continue our restructuring efforts in the months ahead."

    Through cuts and sales of operations, Farmland had trimmed several thousand positions in the two years leading up to the bankruptcy. In addition to severance based upon years of service, Farmland said it is providing job search and placement assistance to fired employees. It has created a career transition center and is providing affected employees with use of company computers, telephones, copy machines and fax machines, the report said.

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