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Agricultural News

Trial Lawyers Will Score Big Victory if New Livestock Marketing Rules are Allowed to Take Effect

Mon, 16 Aug 2010 20:14:56 CDT

Trial Lawyers Will Score Big Victory if New Livestock Marketing Rules are Allowed to Take Effect The noise about the so called "GIPSA" Marketing Rules Changes is getting louder- with the groups that favor prompt adoption of the rules written by USDA officials that are comfortable with litigation to promote market fairness issuing multiple press releases and calling for a large crowd at the upcoming DOJ-USDA Workshop on Competition that will be held in Ft. Collins, Colorado on August 27.

Meanwhile, the groups that believe that the rules written by the USDA go well beyond the intent of Congress as they wrote the 2008 farm law are busy aruging that value added programs could face extinction at worse- and that producers will lose their ability to get a premium for their animals as packers and others along the beef chain refuse to take a chance on paying a premium facing a lawsuit over the "fairness" of that payment.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association has been vocal in their opposition to the Rule- In their BeltWay Beef Blog they write "The truth is, the ones who will be hit hardest are small to medium sized operations. This rule will kill jobs, stifle innovation and ultimately hurt producers and consumers

"NCBA members believe the proposed rule's prohibition on packer-to-packer sales and the potential elimination of marketing arrangements is likely to encourage consolidation, rather than provide more opportunities for cattlemen. In order to meet consumer demand currently being met by the use of marketing arrangements, packers may choose to own their own livestock in larger numbers (today, packers directly own less than 5 percent of the market) rather than risk litigation.

"This rule takes away the incentive to produce the quality beef products consumers prefer. Cattlemen have responded to consumer demands by finding innovative ways to develop and market premium quality and branded products. These alternative marketing arrangements have allowed cattlemen to get paid for the value they add. Without the contracted supply of cattle that meet the requirements of such programs, these programs will go away or be severely reduced in size and scope. This could have a huge impact on the choices our consumers make."

We discuss the NCBA view of this rule with Colin Woodall, lobbyist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Washington. He sees trial lawyers winning and cattle producers- especially smaller operators- losing if the rules as now written take effect.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear our extensive conversation with Woodall on this subject.


Ron Hays talks with Colin Woodall of the NCBA about the so called GIPSA Livestock Marketing Rules.
right-click to download mp3


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