Members of Congress urge Ibach to limit meat, poultry industry influence
A coalition of House and Senate members have written Agriculture Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach to urge him to limit the influence of meatpackers and the poultry industry in rulemaking under the Packers and Stockyards Act.
The letter urged USDA “to ensure that any draft rule prioritizes the rights of America’s small independent cattlemen, hog producers, and contract poultry growers.” The letter advises USDA to address the following:
Protect the rights of farmers to join together in producer associations to advocate for themselves, free from retribution.
Clarify the long-standing USDA position that the Packers and Stockyards Act does not require a demonstration of harm to competition across the entire sector.
Ensure packers are not providing such preferential marketing arrangements to only a select group of large livestock feeders, while excluding opportunities for smaller, independent feeders to remain profitable.
Grower payment systems (tournament) should be objective, transparent, and reward growers for their management skills, not penalize them for factors outside of their control.
The signers include Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.