Proposed changes in livestock marketing rules prompt fears, confusion | TheFencePost.com

Proposed changes in livestock marketing rules prompt fears, confusion

Bill Jackson
Greeley, Colo.

The first proposed changes in livestock marketing rules in 90 years have created confusion, turmoil and fear within the industry.

The uproar comes against a backdrop of sharp consolidation in the beef and packing industries during the past 50 years that has left some worrying about the effects on family ranchers and small operations. They say large meat packers, including JBS USA of Greeley, have driven smaller companies out of business and wield too much power.

Others say there’s no need to change the rules that have served the industry well since 1921. They predict chaos, job losses, a flurry of lawsuits – and higher prices for consumers at the grocery store – if the changes are approved. They also say the changes could discourage the trend toward developing premium cattle brands.

New rules were mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill, which required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct rulemaking that “improves fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry.”

When attempts to modify the Packers & Stockyards Act, which deals with marketing, failed during debate of the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress directed the USDA to issue regulations regarding contracts dealing with the marketing of poultry and swine, and arbitration provisions. In addition, Congress instructed the USDA to determine whether undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has occurred in violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act of 1921.

That led to the agency’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to draft a rule – commonly referred to as the GIPSA rule. The USDA then identified areas requiring changes because existing rules were outdated or too broad to allow proper enforcement.

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The first proposed changes in livestock marketing rules in 90 years have created confusion, turmoil and fear within the industry.

The uproar comes against a backdrop of sharp consolidation in the beef and packing industries during the past 50 years that has left some worrying about the effects on family ranchers and small operations. They say large meat packers, including JBS USA of Greeley, have driven smaller companies out of business and wield too much power.

Others say there’s no need to change the rules that have served the industry well since 1921. They predict chaos, job losses, a flurry of lawsuits – and higher prices for consumers at the grocery store – if the changes are approved. They also say the changes could discourage the trend toward developing premium cattle brands.

New rules were mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill, which required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct rulemaking that “improves fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry.”

When attempts to modify the Packers & Stockyards Act, which deals with marketing, failed during debate of the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress directed the USDA to issue regulations regarding contracts dealing with the marketing of poultry and swine, and arbitration provisions. In addition, Congress instructed the USDA to determine whether undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has occurred in violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act of 1921.

That led to the agency’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to draft a rule – commonly referred to as the GIPSA rule. The USDA then identified areas requiring changes because existing rules were outdated or too broad to allow proper enforcement.

The first proposed changes in livestock marketing rules in 90 years have created confusion, turmoil and fear within the industry.

The uproar comes against a backdrop of sharp consolidation in the beef and packing industries during the past 50 years that has left some worrying about the effects on family ranchers and small operations. They say large meat packers, including JBS USA of Greeley, have driven smaller companies out of business and wield too much power.

Others say there’s no need to change the rules that have served the industry well since 1921. They predict chaos, job losses, a flurry of lawsuits – and higher prices for consumers at the grocery store – if the changes are approved. They also say the changes could discourage the trend toward developing premium cattle brands.

New rules were mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill, which required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct rulemaking that “improves fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry.”

When attempts to modify the Packers & Stockyards Act, which deals with marketing, failed during debate of the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress directed the USDA to issue regulations regarding contracts dealing with the marketing of poultry and swine, and arbitration provisions. In addition, Congress instructed the USDA to determine whether undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has occurred in violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act of 1921.

That led to the agency’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to draft a rule – commonly referred to as the GIPSA rule. The USDA then identified areas requiring changes because existing rules were outdated or too broad to allow proper enforcement.

The first proposed changes in livestock marketing rules in 90 years have created confusion, turmoil and fear within the industry.

The uproar comes against a backdrop of sharp consolidation in the beef and packing industries during the past 50 years that has left some worrying about the effects on family ranchers and small operations. They say large meat packers, including JBS USA of Greeley, have driven smaller companies out of business and wield too much power.

Others say there’s no need to change the rules that have served the industry well since 1921. They predict chaos, job losses, a flurry of lawsuits – and higher prices for consumers at the grocery store – if the changes are approved. They also say the changes could discourage the trend toward developing premium cattle brands.

New rules were mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill, which required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct rulemaking that “improves fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry.”

When attempts to modify the Packers & Stockyards Act, which deals with marketing, failed during debate of the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress directed the USDA to issue regulations regarding contracts dealing with the marketing of poultry and swine, and arbitration provisions. In addition, Congress instructed the USDA to determine whether undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has occurred in violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act of 1921.

That led to the agency’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to draft a rule – commonly referred to as the GIPSA rule. The USDA then identified areas requiring changes because existing rules were outdated or too broad to allow proper enforcement.

The first proposed changes in livestock marketing rules in 90 years have created confusion, turmoil and fear within the industry.

The uproar comes against a backdrop of sharp consolidation in the beef and packing industries during the past 50 years that has left some worrying about the effects on family ranchers and small operations. They say large meat packers, including JBS USA of Greeley, have driven smaller companies out of business and wield too much power.

Others say there’s no need to change the rules that have served the industry well since 1921. They predict chaos, job losses, a flurry of lawsuits – and higher prices for consumers at the grocery store – if the changes are approved. They also say the changes could discourage the trend toward developing premium cattle brands.

New rules were mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill, which required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct rulemaking that “improves fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry.”

When attempts to modify the Packers & Stockyards Act, which deals with marketing, failed during debate of the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress directed the USDA to issue regulations regarding contracts dealing with the marketing of poultry and swine, and arbitration provisions. In addition, Congress instructed the USDA to determine whether undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has occurred in violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act of 1921.

That led to the agency’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to draft a rule – commonly referred to as the GIPSA rule. The USDA then identified areas requiring changes because existing rules were outdated or too broad to allow proper enforcement.

The first proposed changes in livestock marketing rules in 90 years have created confusion, turmoil and fear within the industry.

The uproar comes against a backdrop of sharp consolidation in the beef and packing industries during the past 50 years that has left some worrying about the effects on family ranchers and small operations. They say large meat packers, including JBS USA of Greeley, have driven smaller companies out of business and wield too much power.

Others say there’s no need to change the rules that have served the industry well since 1921. They predict chaos, job losses, a flurry of lawsuits – and higher prices for consumers at the grocery store – if the changes are approved. They also say the changes could discourage the trend toward developing premium cattle brands.

New rules were mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill, which required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct rulemaking that “improves fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry.”

When attempts to modify the Packers & Stockyards Act, which deals with marketing, failed during debate of the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress directed the USDA to issue regulations regarding contracts dealing with the marketing of poultry and swine, and arbitration provisions. In addition, Congress instructed the USDA to determine whether undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has occurred in violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act of 1921.

That led to the agency’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to draft a rule – commonly referred to as the GIPSA rule. The USDA then identified areas requiring changes because existing rules were outdated or too broad to allow proper enforcement.