USDA Working on GIPSA Rules After Courts Mandate Rulemaking Process Move ForwardFri, 30 Aug 2019 08:46:04 CDT
During the 2019 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting held in Denver recently, Colin Woodall, lead lobbyist for NCBA in its DC office, briefed members on what is happening in DC right now at USDA regarding the GIPSA rule. Woodall admits that the mere mention of GIPSA might come as a surprise to people as Secretary Sonny Perdue killed the Obama-era rule upon taking office. However, he explains that Perdue’s decision was ultimately overturned by the Department of Justice, which insisted USDA go through the rulemaking process to change the rule’s effectiveness after the Organization for Competitive Markets sued the USDA over the matter. In an interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, Woodall explained where that process is and what action is being taken to ensure the ineffectual rule causes no further hinderances to livestock producers. Today's Beef Buzz is a "best of" program from earlier this month- as the industry continues to wait on the USDA and their work on GIPSA.
“We have given USDA some options of how they can make it better and actually make it something the livestock industry – particularly pork and beef – can live with,” he said. “When you look at the Packers & Stockyards Act, it was meant to protect the marketplace – not necessarily the individual. There have been eight US Circuit Courts of Appeal that have passed rulings that support that. If this rule can use that in some shape, form or fashion, then it could be a rule that we would like and it be very helpful.”
However, Woodall says if the rule turns out to be just a mirror of the rule that stemmed from the 2008 Farm Bill and enacted by the Obama Administration, then he says there will ultimately be some problems that NCBA is prepared to fight over. At present, Woodall says the USDA has already submitted a proposal to the White House’s Office of Management & Budget where it is being evaluated by the Administration to determine if the proposal fits its mandate or not and give direction on how the USDA should proceed. In the meantime, Woodall and the NCBA are arguing that to improve the rule – it simply needs proper funding as opposed to more regulatory framework.
“OCM thinks they understand the Packers & Stockyards Act, but they don’t. We believe the Packers & Stockyards Act has all the teeth that it needs. We just need to make sure it’s being enforced,” Woodall argued. “That’s the conversation we need to have. Does the Packers & Stockyards Act over at AMS – do they have the funding and the staff to adequately enforce what’s already on the books? If you add more to the books but you don’t have the people to enforce it then we’re not making any headway here.”
Listen to Woodall’s complete conversation over this matter with Hays on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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