Former Tobacco Stabilization Coop to Issue Payments

— Written By Mitch Smith
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Settlement of the U.S. Tobacco Cooperative, Inc. Bankruptcy Case and the Lewis Settlement Class Action Case

Since the Federal Tobacco Price Support Program ended in 2004, there have been many attempts on behalf of former quota holders to recapture money that was paid to the Flue-cured Tobacco Stabilization Corporation.

During July 2022, as a part of an approved plan for the former cooperative to reorganize in bankruptcy, a judge ruled that a lump sum begin to be dispersed in 2023 to former quota holders who farmed under the tobacco price support program. This bankruptcy agreement will continue to provide payments to qualified applicants over the following 11 years based on the continued operation of U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Inc.

It is believed that there about 200,000 former quota holders who could qualify to receive some level of payment beginning in 2023. Approximately $70 million is expected to be dispersed over this 12-year period. To qualify, former quota holders or their heirs must provide proof of their membership with the Flue-Cured Tobacco Stabilization Corporation during the period of 1946-2004 to be eligible for payment consideration. This should be done by supplying the requested “FC Number” or information sufficient to prove that they (or their spouse) marketed tobacco during this period.

Letters were mailed on Saturday, August 13th from the legal firm Omni Agent Solutions to former quota holders to announce this effort to award payments. Individuals who did not receive the letter or a form can certify their membership with the former cooperative by visiting Omni Agent Solutions. Those interested in being a part of this process have until December 12, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. to certify their membership and to file a claim.

This letter is being sent to those whose name has been listed on various tobacco mailing lists that I used throughout my 36-year career as a tobacco extension agent. Although many tobacco farmers have retired or passed away since the time that the tobacco price support program was in place, all former flue-cured quota holders or their heirs can consider applying to participate in this settlement.


  • Former quota holders or their heirs can access the website for this claim by visiting Omni Agent Solutions. Once you go to this website, type “lewis” in the search box in order to access the “Lewis Certified Settlement Class Trust” and the claims form.
  • If you have questions, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document on the website. For anything not addressed, you may either call the claims information line, 866-989-3039 (US & Canada toll free), or email the claims agent at
  • Claims forms can be submitted either as paper copies or electronically via the website.
  • In order to prove the claim, submit copies of documents that establish the Flue-Cured Cooperative membership such as a membership card, stock certificate, or documents that establish the mailing address of the grower member at the time of membership. If you marketed tobacco from 2000-2004 by direct contracting of tobacco, submit documents that establish pounds marketed during any of those years.
  • If you do not know the FC number, list the mailing address on the form of the grower member at the time of membership. Old tobacco sales bills may have the FC number listed on the upper left hand section of the bill.
  • If you are not the original holder of the class member claim, then you must provide all documentation showing that you are the legal holder of this claim, such as notarized, executive assignment documents or a probated will.
  • For the production years of 2000-2004, proof of sales of tobacco must be provided such as sales/consignment receipts, farm ledgers created at the time of sale, or consignment showing pounds marketed to establish the sales.
  • For producers who lack documentation of production from 2000 through 2004, the following chart might be used to calculate production values for this period. The estimated production per year is 2000 pounds per acre.


Average Price per Pound











  • Only one claim form can be submitted for a flue-cured member number.
  • The amount of any valid claim cannot be determined until all claims are reviewed and the number of valid claims is determined.