Mediocrity Please, Please, Please!!

Incredible rumors department – NCBA’s Colin Woodall – this week’s font of headscratching info in Washington this week – said J. Dudley Butler, USDA-GIPSA administrator – is rumored to be preparing a rule that would forbid packers from paying different prices for different quality categories of livestock.

Now, recall a couple of things that adds to the incredibility of this rule, should it molt and appear as rumored.  Butler was very emphatic last summer that he needed evidence and public comment to bolster his rulemaking ambitions at GIPSA.  Then he announced hearings for 2010.  Then he announced he would have a rule providing substantial new interpretations of the Packers & Stockyards Act in a couple months, long before the hearings.  Then nothing happened from Butler’s end.

Something did happen from the judiciary.  The Fifth District Court of Appeals ruled in Wheeler vs. Pilgrim’s Pride that the processor did have a right to have different types of contracts with different people.  It was assumed that that had taken the wind out of Butler’s sails and his radical interpretations of a decades-old law would have to wait at least for some modicum of cover provide by this August’s Competition Workshops.  But the rumor mill has it that Butler will not wait and will propose his “mediocrity rule” shortly.  Or maybe it could be called the “Cheating Rule.”  Because any producer or feeder who managed his genetics, nutrition, health and feeding regime in order to produce a superior product would be cheated out of the opportunity to get a premium price for the animal.

Good grief!  Where do they get off claiming they are going to improve anything, much less competition or consumer products.  Talk about a race to the bottom.

Late bulletin: GIPSA is scheduled to discuss a proposed rule on “fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry” on Friday, June 18th.

Published in: on June 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: