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Letter: Golden Oval's empty promises

Well, we are well into September, and I and the other former owners of Golden Oval are wondering.

First, we wonder about the history of "value-added." Remember, it was a big buzz-phrase that showed up in the 1980s, hung around through the '90s, then hung it up not long ago.

There was a time when yelling "value-added!" was paramount to the born-again yelling "Hallelujah!"

I and my peers lined up to buy into the "farm to consumer" mantra. The suits cracked the whip of enthusiasm. Huge returns on investment, plus industry-building.

Bit of morning-after quarterbacking, but man, were we gullible. All the usual suspects ran well-oiled slide shows, touting quick turnarounds, exponential growth, and adoring communities that would compete for our soon-to-be-built factory.

Guys, if we ran our farms with the numbers we accepted as fact, the auctioneers would be overbooked for the foreseeable future.

Oh yeah. Golden Oval.

Here's the deal, or at least what our board and executives sold us on.

Three bucks up front, another 75 cents in August and (don't hold your breath) 28 cents more before the end of the year.

How do the former owners stand?

Three dollars in the bank, and it is well past Labor Day. It has been quieter than my kid after a broken window.

Fact is Golden Oval/Midwest Investors has stopped filing SEC reports. All the former owners have to look at is a financial black hole that was our investment. No information can seem to escape the gravity of the board and an open-ended sales agreement with Rembrandt, Inc.

I'm thinking of starting my own investment/self-help center. Bring a beverage of your choice, and we can meet in the farm shop. Before any cards are dealt a prayer will be recited: "I'm a farmer, and I can change, if I have to, I guess."

Daniel R. Jacobs