National Farmers Union Loves Proposed GIPSA Rule- Calling it the Farmers and Ranchers Bill of RightsWed, 27 Oct 2010 6:52:14 CDT
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson submitted comments today commending U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) on its proposed rule, calling it a “Farmer and Rancher Bill of Rights.”
“Input from agricultural producers is essential to the rulemaking process,” said Johnson. “The Packers and Stockyards Act has been around for 90 years. It’s time to start enforcing it. The Farmer and Rancher Bill of Rights will protect farmers and ranchers from anticompetitive behavior by packers and processors. Industry will no longer be allowed free rein to abuse livestock producers who have limited market power.”
The proposed rule addresses concerns that have been discussed for decades. The rule is also well within the scope of GIPSA’s authority granted by the Packers and Stockyards Act and was developed in response to the 2008 Farm Bill, which requires USDA to carry out specific rulemaking to improve fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry.
The impact on rural America stemming from the loss of producers has been clear over the last thirty years. In 1980, there were 660,000 hog farms but today there are only 67,000. Thirty years ago, there were 1.3 million beef cattle operations but only 950,000 today.
“Some aspects of the proposed rule would benefit from additional clarification and would ease concerns among livestock industry interests,” said Johnson. “ Overall, the proposed rule is a well-done, much-needed regulatory measure to put teeth back into GIPSA and increase access to fair markets for farmers and ranchers.”
The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register of June 22, 2010 (75 Fed. Reg. 35338), “Implementation of Regulations Required Under Title XI of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008; Conduct in Violation of the Act.”
For more on the GIPSA rule- go to our Read the Rule webpage on OklahomaFarmReport.Com- it includes links and details on how you can comment about the rule that GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler hopes to finalize very soon after the comment period ends on November 22, 2010.
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