Group Applauds Senators’ Action to Maintain Competitive Livestock Markets
Washington, D.C. – Despite the calamitous distraction of a prolonged government shut-down, eight U.S. Senators joined yesterday in a letter to preserve a competitive marketplace for U.S. livestock and poultry producers.
Led by Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the Senators urge Senate agriculture leaders to reject a provision in the House-passed farm bill that undermines the ability of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act.
The Senators state that "the House farm bill includes Section 11102, which would greatly limit the authority of the Secretary to address deceptive, fraudulent, retaliatory, and anti-competitive practices by meatpackers in the livestock industry."
The group of eight contends this provision would harm poultry producers and independent livestock producers by leaving them vulnerable to concentrated market forces.
"We believe regulation should be limited in a marketplace, but we also believe having little to no regulation in place is problematic, especially in our concentrated livestock and poultry industries.
"We strongly urge the Senate to reject the House’s provision in its entirety," the Senators wrote.
"We are grateful that Senators Tester and Grassley and their six colleagues are willing to stand up to the special interests of the multi-national meatpackers that had successfully convinced leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass this anti-family farmer and rancher provision," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.
The other Senators who joined the letter include: Senator Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), John Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).
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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.