USDA finalizes management changes and eliminates GIPSA
-The Hagstrom Report
November 30, 2018
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue published in the Federal Register Thursday a final rule to make a number of management changes that the Trump administration has made in USDA, including the elimination of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration and the shift of its function to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
The rule said that it "relates to internal agency management" and therefore "notice of proposed rulemaking and opportunity for comment are not required" and that the rule would be effective 30 days after publication.
Most of the sections of the rule transfer functions of agencies to business centers the administration has established at USDA. But the elimination of GIPSA has created opposition.
Organization for Competitive Markets founding member and Mississippi cattle producer Fred Stokes said in a statement Thursday, "AMS is the most corrupt and compromised agency in Washington D.C., and to subordinate Packers & Stockyards Act enforcement as a program of AMS is the death knell for antitrust enforcement in the meatpacking industry."
"Secretary Perdue’s action is clear evidence that America’s family farmers and ranchers are in harm’s way under his leadership at USDA," Stokes said.
"We remain hopeful that our litigation against Perdue for illegally withdrawing the Farmer Fair Practices Rules promulgated by the now defunct GIPSA will be ruled in our favor. Perdue’s actions today make that outcome even more imperative."