PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The owner of a Gettysburg-based company fighting to keep its South Dakota grain-trading license says she’s willing to change some of her business practices.

Jan Banghart told state regulators Thursday night she would have Banghart Properties stop paying her federal income taxes and would also set up an advisory board.

She also pledged to put in place a policy prohibiting the company’s contractors from posting derisive comments on social media.

Banghart Properties is accused of illegally operating as a grain buyer in 2022 and 2023 because it allegedly exceeded each year the $5 million limit on transactions for a Class B license holder.

Banghart in turn is appealing denial of its application for a Class A license, which doesn’t have an upper limit.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission hearing on the matters began at 1 p.m. and ran straight through to 11 p.m., with only short breaks. There was no decision on any of the matters, however.

Gary Hanson, one of the three commissioners, left at 8:25 p.m. to drive home to Sioux Falls. Hanson said he planned to read the hearing transcript at a later time.

The commission will take closing arguments on the Class A license application at its next regular meeting on May 9. The sides will set a schedule that day for presenting briefings later on the alleged Class B-license violations.

The hearing was taken into confidential session five different times, so that lawyers could question witnesses about financial details.

Banghart’s attorney, Rob Konrad, said the company wanted the hearing as soon as possible. “Our main area of concern today is the pending application for a Class A license,” Konrad told the commission.

Banghart Properties meanwhile is appealing $290,000 of civil fines levied by the Nebraska Public Service Commission for alleged violations of the grain trading act in that state.

Banghart’s son Jeremey Frost of Onida worked 17 years for CHS Midwest Cooperatives and went on his own in 2017, opening Fearless Grain Marketing. Frost then got in trouble with the South Dakota commission for selling grain without a license. He agreed in 2021 to pay $20,000, the maximum amount the commission could fine an unlicensed grain trader at the time.

Frost now works as a grain marketing consultant for his mother at Banghart Properties. The company received a Class B license in 2021.

He described his role Thursday night as fighting for farmers. “I basically try to tell them the truth, instead of letting them get screwed over by the big elevators,” he told the commission.

Frost said he took down some Facebook posts that were critical of the commission’s grain regulatory staff.

Frost also offers a service available for $399 per year that provides a weekly newsletter, audio commentary two to three times per week, and market updates and pricing signals via email and text messages, as well as potential marketing plans.

Jan Banghart said Banghart Properties doesn’t underwrite her son’s service. But, she acknowledged, Banghart Properties does advertise on his site.