Updates on Livestock Marketing Freedom

Recent days have seen two developments regarding livestock producers’ freedom to market livestock the way they feel they can produce the best products for customers and have the best profit potential.

Following up on a letter sent to USDA signed by nearly 150 Congressmen protesting the proposed GIPSA Rule, the House Appropriations Committee and then the full House passed a USDA FY 2012 appropriations bill that specifically denies GIPSA funding for implementing the GIPSA Rule.  The Rule would severely hamper or destroy many branded meat programs and alliances that livestock producers, feeders, packers, retailers and food service operators participate in to deliver products to consumers more specifically tailored to their desires, whether higher quality or “natural” or “organic.”  The Rule would make it much more problematic for packers to pay premiums for higher quality livestock, subject them to more lawsuits and restrict some feedyard companies to selling livestock to only one packer instead of across the market.

The letter from the Congressmen pointed out that GIPSA was trying to impose restrictions that had been voted down by Congress in the last Farm Bill debate.

We see GIPSA doing what seems to be regarded by federal agencies as Standard Operating Procedure today– to go as far beyond the agency’s specific regulatory authority as the agencies activist leadership thinks its lawyers can defend in liberal courts.

Along those lines, Sen. Enzi from Wyoming has re-introduced his bill trying to establish some of the same restrictions everyone is criticizing in the GIPSA Rule into effect by Congressional action.  Enzi has been an opponent of innovation in livestock marketing, preferring to restrict cattlemen and packers to the methods of bygone eras.  Sen. Grassley from Iowa has also signed on to the bill.

Published in: on June 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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