GIPSA Dominates Senate Committee Hearing

Cindy Zimmerman 114 Comments

The topic of the hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee yesterday was “The State of Livestock in America” but much of the testimony centered around USDA’s controversial Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard’s Administration (GIPSA) proposal.

In a strong statement at the start of the hearing, ranking member Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) said that GIPSA proposal is in direct opposition to the intent of Congress under the 2008 Farm Bill.

“As a result, we are looking at a proposed rule that is undoubtedly significant in its economic impact and which threatens to undo years of livestock marketing arrangements that have benefited both livestock producers and consumers,” said Roberts. “At a time when many talk about how agriculture is going to help lead the rebound for our economic recovery, it makes no sense to me why we would try to hamstring this industry, and take away marketing tools that will have far reaching implications in both the domestic and international marketplace.”

Watch Roberts get fired up about GIPSA here:

GIPSA, Government, Video

Comments 114

  1. Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA

    Senator Pat Roberts made the most dishonorable and repulsive opening statement that anyone could possibly make at a congressional hearing. Whether you support USDA’s proposed GIPSA rule or not, every American should be appalled at Senator Robert’s theatrics. He lied. He outright lied. Senator Roberts knows, and all his staff knows, that GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler NEVER said that the proposed GIPSA rule is a lawyer’s dream. The speech of Administrator Butler that Senator Roberts purposely prostituted was widely circulated in the media as were transcripts of that speech. Senator Roberts chose to lie for no other reason than to impugn the character of Administrator Butler. Below is the transcript of Administrator Butler’s speech. No one but a disreputable pawn would use this speech in the distorted manner used by Senator Roberts. Administrator Butler said exactly the opposite of what Senator Roberts claimed he said. Administrator Butler said that existing law – the 90-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act – contained vague terms that were, therefore, “a lawyer’s dream.” And, Administrator Butler clearly stated that his goal for the proposed GIPSA rule was to define and set perimeters for those vague terms so everyone in the marketplace knows the rules. America has been disgraced by Senator Roberts.

    2009 Speech of GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler

    “I truly believe that if you are going to regulate, authority has to be tempered with common sense.

    You cannot try to over-regulate – you cannot try to under-regulate.

    I am a big believer in balance and consistency.

    If we want the industry to survive over the long haul, it has to be balanced.

    We are developing rules that deal with problems in the marketplace across the board.

    It’s just like a piece of legislation, you can’t write a perfect piece of legislation.

    We need your comments so we can put out the best finished product possible.

    Looking at it from the standpoint of sections 202 A and B, when you have terms like unfair, unreasonable, or undue prejudice, that’s a lawyer’s dream, a plaintiff lawyer’s dream. We can get in front of a jury on that without getting thrown out on what we call summary judgment, because that’s a jury question.

    But the real thing now in trying to solve the problem quickly is not only to address the market issues, but to define some of these terms, to put parameters around them. What you can do, what the company can’t do, what has got to happen in the marketplace.”

  2. Mike Weaver

    It appears that Senator Roberts comments about the proposed GIPSA rules were written by one of the large meatpackers or poultry integrators. The lie they propagated for several months about comments by J.Dudley Butler and the trial lawyer misquote, which has been proven by video of the comments, is a shameful way for the giant corporations to get their way in this situation. The lies are not working so they get an amendment in the House appropriations bill to defund the GIPSA rules. Now this! Would someone look into contributions from big agriculture to Senator Roberts please? The farmers and ranchers need to know and so do the voting public in Kansas.
    Mike Weaver, President, Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias

  3. Mike Callicrate

    A video of GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler’s actual statement is here:

    Senator Roberts is a shinning example of this lackey Congress that continues to place big corporate interests over the interests of the people.

    Senator Roberts should be held accountable for spreading these lies.

    The GIPSA rules are the only thing standing between independent cattlemen and chicken-farmer serdom.

  4. DC Hartman

    Dudley Butler’s 2009 speech refers to the Stockyards and Packers act currently in effect, not the GIPSA ruling…Mr. Roberts needs to get his facts straight before he opens his mouth. Mr. Butler NEVER said the proposed GIPSA rule is a lawyer’s dream. Mr. Roberts has no true basis for being against the GIPSA ruling.

    “Looking at it from the standpoint of sections 202 A and B, when you have terms like unfair, unreasonable, or undue prejudice, that’s a lawyer’s dream, a plaintiff lawyer’s dream. We can get in front of a jury on that without getting thrown out on what we call summary judgment, because that’s a jury question.” Mr. Butlers 2009 speech

    Section 202. Unlawful practices enumerated.3
    It shall be unlawful for any packer or swine contractor with respect to livestock, meats,
    meat food products, or livestock products in unmanufactured form, or for any live poultry
    dealer with respect to live poultry, to:
    (a) Engage in or use any unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practice or
    device; or
    (b) Make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any
    particular person or locality in any respect, or subject any particular person or
    locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect; or

  5. Dippold Ranch

    Sen. Roberts’ statement was misleading. He quoted out of context, thus changing the meaning of the speaker he was quoting.
    I realize the money behind the fight against GIPSA. However, as a cattle producer, we find more and more demands from the buyers of our cattle; they are assuming less costs for these cattle, and we are assuming more costs, for very little, if any, gain. There needs to be more accountability from the meatpackers. It is hard to conduct fair business when they have a monopoly.
    The proposed rules in the GIPSA will put growers on a more even playing field by protecting against unfair treatment or possible retaliation. Senator Roberts does not speak for many ranchers in our area, and certainly not for us.

  6. New Mexico Cowboy

    I’m a cow-calf producer, have periodically retained ownership of my calves, My calves have top genetics based on their performance in the yard coupled with carcass data and there is a real need for the GIPSA Rule.

    Senator Roberts’ misrepresentation of Administrator Butler’s comments–which were directed to the terms of PSA as presently undefined and the need to define them by rule so that PSA is NOT a plaintiff’s lawyer’s dream–was a real ethical and moral low. The Senator owes Mr. Butler an apology.

    But then, Senator Roberts received some $39,000 during the 2008 election cycle from those opposed to the GIPSA Rule. From his comments and feigned indignation, I’d say they got their money’s worth.

    The GIPSA Rule has been totally misrepresented by its opponents and judging from the Senator’s comments suggesting the Rule would “hamstring this industry, and take away marketing tools…” he has never read the rule, does not understand how formula cattle work, and is most misinformed about how livestock markets function.

  7. Bob

    This is the way a Senator behaves because US cattlemen seek justice? He attacks a man who has worked honestly to formulate a fair rule that would protect our livestock industry from monopoly? Senator Dole prefers corporate monopoly? How much does Senator Dole receive from the big packers and the groups that do their bidding, such as NCBA? Mr. Dole does not have clean hands nor a just heart. Is it too much to ask for fairness, Mr. Dole? Has that become un-American? Shall we all throw stones as you have, at an honest man doing something to restore competition in American. Shall we all just say “Give the corporations whatever they want because if you don’t, men like you, Senator Dole, will tear apart those holding steady for what is right”? If you take how much you have received from these special interests, and divide it by the number of words you have used to try to stop the GIPSA rule by going after Mr. Dudley, how much did you make per ugly word? Mr. Dole, shame on you. Our country needs our Congressmen to stop being water carriers for the rich and powerful, and you have hauled one large bucket for them. You are their paid servant, a humiliating job. You were supposed to serve to the American people, a job with great dignity. Instead you attack Mr. Dudley who is honorably serving this country and with courage considering the vicious attacks on him. You serve your masters by attacking Mr. Dudley who is doing right by the American people.

  8. J. E. Martens

    I am a life long rancher from Wyoming, If I am to stay in the cattle busness, the Meat Packers must NOT continue to have a stone cold monopoly on my beef ! These arangements that Senator Roberts speak of is just that. Monopolys, and nothing more, open and above board, transparent sales (Like the NYSE) are the law, make them enforce them !! Fellow the money, it is NOT on the plains of the cattle country, it is in the land of the PACKERS . Level playing field is all we ask ! James Martens, Black Hills of Wyoming

  9. Dan De Wees

    I think Senator Roberts is not looking out for the Cattle producers. He is for the Beef Packers who control over 85% of the market. Where will they get there cattle when we are OUT of business.

  10. larry

    senator Roberts is most definately bought and paid for by the American meat institute. It is time to get rid of these life time politicians: senator Roberts(ks), senator Hatch(ut), senator Crapo (id), senator Reed(nev), rep. Simpson(Id) . Just alot of republicans and democrats that have been there too long !

  11. Carlon Stapper

    Senator Roberts comments completely misrepresent what Administrator Butler said. Putting these proposed GIPSA rules into place will help restore competition to the market place, something the Packers and Stockyards Act is supposed to do.

  12. Conrad Zutavern

    Senator Roberts made an untruthful and and unnecessary attack against GIPSA administrator Butler. Twisting the truth in order to make a political point goes noticed out here in Nebraska and Kansas and it doesn’t fly anymore. Remember how Breitbart and Fox News fabricated USDA’s undersecretary Shirley Sherrod last year? Well, in the end, when the truth eventually came out, the accusers had egg all over their face. Now Senator Roberts is going to get egg all over his face.

  13. Denise Langley

    Senator Roberts should be ashamed of himself and his constituents should vote him out of office. He lied about the Gipsa ruling. This bill-Gipsa is to clear up the vague and non specific language that was in the Packers and Stockyards Act. The GIPSa will clearify and remove generalizations so the rule cannot be misconstrued. Senator Roberst attack on Dudley Butler was based on totally incorrect, facts. I hope the people representing us in Washington are much more intelligent and honest than Senator Roberts!

  14. K. Schroer

    Sen. Roberts, you are an abomination to the American rancher/cattleman!
    How embarrassing for Kansas to have you representing their state. Maybe you should get your facts straight about GIPSA before spewing your rhetoric.
    satan and the meatpackers certainly have you in their back pockets!! And to think we taxpayers have to foot the bill for your overly bloated retirement pension and all the while you are stabbing us in the back! Be careful not to choke on the next bite of American raised and produced beefsteak you stick in your mouth.

  15. red cow

    WHOA! I went back and read Butler’s comments and he stated the opposite of what Senator Roberts said that he said. Butler stated that the existing law was a lawyer’s dream.

    Clearly, Senator Roberts does not support producers! If you cannot support an open free market than you are supporting corrupt manipulated market for the meatpackers.

    Senator Roberts and Ag-wired needs to print a retraction and get their facts straight. Burning the American flag is free speech but that does not make it right!

  16. Karen Bowlin

    Roberts is clearly out of touch with ag marketing. Too many generations away from the farm I expect. If you don’t know anything about the topic, it is usually wise to keep your mouth shut so you don’t reveal your ignorance to everyone. This objective of this rule is to give farmers and ranchers a fair marketing opportunity. Sen. Roberts mouth is a timely illustration of what we’ve been trying to protect ourselves against: allied meatpackers using legislators as spokesmen and tools for their industry advantage.

  17. Mark Wilson

    Senator Roberts,
    Whether it is out of ignorance or malice you attributed Mr. Dudley’s “lawyers dream” comment incorrectly to comments about about the current GIPSA Rule proposal. That comment was made about the definition of words in the original Packers and Stockyards act. You owe an appology to Mr. Dudley. You apparently hold many in the cattle industry who support the proposed GIPSA Rule in contempt as well.

  18. Teresa Wiemerslage

    I am extremely disappointed in Senator Robert’s comments. The Senate and Obama Administration needs to act now to implement and enforce the GIPSA rule. Farmers and ranchers need a fair marketplace now more than ever. We have waited long enough.

    I am disappointed in Senator Roberts deceitful attack on Administrator Butler and the GIPSA rule. His comments are not true. As a fourth generation farmer, I expect that our Senators and Representatives speak the truth, even when they don’t agree with us.

    It has been one year since the GIPSA rule was proposed. It is long past time to implement these reforms to protect family farmers and ranchers. The GIPSA rule will prevent packers from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices to harm livestock producers. We have been at their mercy long enough. The GIPSA rule is a positive step forward toward fairer markets.

  19. Donald Martin

    I am a Cattleman. I am not surprised by Mr. Roberts statements, he is a typical politician. The only way to tell if he is lying is to see if his mouth is moving. He knows, as does almost everyone in the cattle business that the packers are killing the small producers with collusion, avarice and the help of Mr Roberts and his kind. I am proud of President Obama and Sec. Vilsac’s efforts. I would like my children to be able to keep our ranch but if Mr Roberts wins this fight the packers will eventually own it and many many others. I would like to see what Teddy Roosevelt would have to say about Mr Roberts and the packers.

  20. Nathan Pike

    I just heard your speech to the Senate regarding GIPSA Rules. I find it to be the most dishonest speech I have ever heard. NCBA and KLA & Texas Cattle Feeders must have written it for you, as it is well known they are Packer Lackeys and they use the Producer Beef Check-off money to fight the real producer, as this has been proven.
    Senator, why don’t you come clean and post to the public, how much money the Packers have contributed to you over the last few years. The GIPSA Rule does nothing close to what you stated, but it will level the playing field for the main stream producer. It does not take away anyone’s rights to contract their livestock to any packer or International Packer, as you suggest. I find this to be the most dishonable speech I have heard from a Kansas Senator. I have been in the livestock business for 61 years, and do not like what is happening to our industry.

  21. Pam Potthoff

    Senator Pat Robert’s attack on the proposed GIPSA rule changes are a direct attack on small and medium feeders who are too small to warrant “sweetheart deals” with the big packers.

    The base price paid through formula contracts (43.1 percent of the market in 2010) is determined by the cash market (37.4 percent of th market). This cash market shrunk from over 52 percent five years. When packers bid low or refuse to bid at all in the cash market, everyone in the beef prodution line gets hurt except the pakers. The new GIPSA rules would help prevent packer manipulation of the cash market.

    Senator Roberts: That would only be fair to all in prouction agriculture. People don’t file lawsuit when they are being treated fairly.

  22. D.T.Cappucci, Jr., DVM, PhD, MPH, LTC, AUS, ret.

    The comments of United Senator Pat Roberts about proposed GIPSA rule making and Administrator Dudley Butler of the USDA Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyard’s Administration are a dastardly, unprofessional verbal attack against another honorable American citizen in federal governmental service! It is disappointing that Senator Roberts sarcastically suggests for USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to consider putting Administrator Butler under the Witness Protection Program due to the circumstances of the ongoing controversy! Shame on Senator Roberts for making his opposition to the proposed GIPSA rule making on livestock marketing into a caustic, direct personal assault on USDA Administrator Butler.

  23. JOEL

    I am a repubulican and a cattle rancher and I believe that the video by Senator Roberts seems to be titled incorrectly. The title should be Roberts works to defend the large meat packers. He certainly is not defending the small producers of the United States when he villifies J. Dudley Butler and takes his comments on the proposed rule totally out of context. Senator Roberts should be ashamed of himself, but I am sure the large meat packers lobby gave him a good slap on the back and perhaps a little extra money for his next campaign.

    As I see it, the new rule is simply trying make clear some of the very vague terms in the 90 year old Packers and Stockyards Act. Why are the packers and their allies like the NCBA fighting so hard to kill this proposed rule? I really don’t believe it is to protect small farmers and ranchers.

    The articles surrounding this video were from the NCBA, Meat Packer’s Associations and the like saying what a good idea it was to kill the funding for the proposed rule. I didn’t see the comments from the National Farm Bureau Federation, R-Calf and the 150+ other agricultural organizations who have gone on record supporting the new GIPSA rule.

  24. Reid Phifer

    Senator Roberts, you would think coming from Kansas there should be at some point in your life at least a small amount of intelligence acquired concerning agriculture. I personally, and feel assured anyone else that really listened to your speech regarding the new GIPSA regulations, had no problem understanding you sounded more like a standup comic, than a Senator someone actually voted into office. Your tone of an authoritarian ruler with the comments of a court jester was very amusing. I would be very interested in knowing where you collect your under the table money that buys your ability to stand in front of your political buddies and spew such utterly ridiculous rhetoric. Senator Roberts, it’s really very simple, if you’ve had no experience with a subject, it is ludicrous to believe yourself an authority. Experience perpetuates knowledge, speaking without knowledge from experience propels ignorance.

  25. Jim Fisher

    As current cattle producer, I cannot believe how far from the facts Senator Roberts is in his opening statement. “Marketing arrangements that have benefited both livestock producers and consumers” America loses an average of 12,000 cattle ranchers every year, the amount of American cattle on feed is the smallest number it has been in 20 years. Where has it befitted the consumer not in the pocket books? Yes today there are 27 different labels of beef to choose but most consumers are confused by organic, grassfed, gluten-free, and so on. An open, balanced, competitive market will not hamstring packing companies. The GISPA rule will only support the rural communities of America.

  26. James Stotts

    Senator Pat Roberts took a Packer pill right before his pack of packer lies. We know part of his rant was a outright lie, can only suppose all of it was a lie.

  27. Mike Heaton

    Senator Pat Roberts remarks were diplorable. Senator Roberts purposely took J. Dudley Butler’s remarks out of context. We the true independent cattlemen have waited nine decades for this rule. Our desire is to have the GIPSA rule enacted and the law enforced. As for all of the negative retoric from the NCBA, remember this is the same NCBA who has been found to be misusing hundreds of thousands of beef checkoff dollars. The NCBA lacks credibility and integrity and represent a mere 3% of the real cattle producers.

  28. Pamela Wunderlich

    For a start, the video headline is an out and out lie. Roberts is not working to protect livestock producers, but is obviously working for big agribusiness in the form of the meatpackers. He has twisted GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler’s words. Mr. Butler said that existing law – the 90-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act(not the proposed Gipsa Rule) – contained vague terms that were, therefore, “a lawyer’s dream.” And, Administrator Butler clearly stated that his goal for the proposed GIPSA rule was to define and set perimeters for those vague terms so everyone in the marketplace knows the rules. Administrator Butler also said “If we want the industry to survive over the long haul, it has to be balanced.
    We are developing rules that deal with problems in the marketplace across the board.”
    I am an independent cattle producer and know there is nothing fair or balanced about allowing the big 4 meatpackers to manipulate the cattle market by breaking the 1921 Packer and Stockyards Act and any Antitrust provisions, as they have done and want to continue to do. It is very important that our livestock industry not be verticalized or “chickenized” by the large meatpackers and their dirty tactics. Family farmers and ranchers need GIPSA to hold Packers accountable by providing transparency and a level playing field for all real cattle producers in America. Don’t become fooled by all the brainwashing going on out there and know there are some palms being greased. Let us have the proposed GIPSA rule- it has already been commented on by the public with mostly favorable remarks.

  29. Rick Fox

    Pat Roberts is a liar and full of himself( and BS). With the money that has flowed his way by the meat corporations, He delivers for them in this speech. he reads the entire speech, he didn’t write it, his cronies that give him money did. He has always voted for the corporations and never once voted for the actual ‘on the ground’ cattle producer. He never read the entire comment that Mr Butler delivered. Mr Butler’s comment had the exact opposite meaning of what this dimwit Roberts delivered.

    Cattle producer numbers keep dwindling with the same policies and same career politicians in place. Roberts is fully bought and paid for and I would encourage all other Senators that read or listen to his ‘corporate’ speech to approach him and ask for the entire speech that J. Dudley Butler gave.

    The GIPSA rule needs to be implemented for the safety of the American food supply. Corporations only goal is to make money. It does not matter to them what country they buy their raw supply (livestock) from or who they sell it to.

    Keep America strong and keep the cattle producers of this great country supplying beef to the American consumers. Once the cattle industry is gone because of the market abuse of the giant meat packers, it will be gone for good.

    Thank you, and to hell with this Pat Roberts idiot!
    Rick Fox
    Hermosa, SD

  30. Lance Ekberg

    Senator Roberts should be ashamed of himself for twisting the facts about GIPSA and Administrator Butler. Sen. Roberts accuses Mr. Butler for coming with an agenda, but Sen. Roberts should take his own advice regarding his own agenda. Sen. Roberts favors policy that is in the best interests of the corporate meatpackers and other corporate agribusiness. GIPSA was hard fought for grassroots ranchers and other individual animal producers. At last we have a chance to level the playing field with fair and open markets, but politicians like Senator Roberts stand in the way of reform. Shame on you Senator Roberts!

  31. Allen Lund

    One thing is obvious. Senator Roberts is not working to defend livestock producers. He is working to defend the interests of the corporate packing and retail industries. The poultry industry is a prime example of why we need the proposed rules to GIPSA to be implemented. The independent poultry producers have been turned into virtual peasants to the packer and retail sectors. Either conform to thier rules or you will be thrown out on your ear, and we will be protected against any legal recourse because it would be almost impossible for you to show damage to the entire industry. The hog industry is not very far behind and chickenizing the beef industry will be the final objective.
    Get real Senator Roberts. The GIPSA rule was enacted 90 years ago, and to say the least needs a little tweeking.

  32. Carol L Hendrickson

    I am writing to comment on the testimony of Senator Pat Roberts before the Senate Ag Committee. He obviously is coming at this from the side of the meat packing industry and not the independent producers. If there is not some protection in the market place, as the GIPSA rule is intended to put in place, you are going to see more and more producers go out of business and soon it will not matter if we have Country of Origin Labeling for our beef, because there won’t be any domestically produced beef. More and more of our other ag products are being imported, and we have no control over how the products are produced or what chemicals are used on them or anything. The same will be true of the beef. We have the BEST and CLEANEST beef in the world, and you are doing your best to kill the industry. Nobody is trying to take away the marketing contracts that are working for some producers. They are just being asked to make them public just as sales in the local auction yards are, so there can be price discovery and fairness in the market place. We don’t want subsidies or such, just a fair shake in the market place. Don’t buy the BULL that is being thrown around, and follow the money! The packers have a lot of it and they are wielding a lot of pressure on Congress to do their bidding.

  33. Gayland Regier

    After listening to Sen. Robert’s comments before the Ag. committee and personally rereading Mr. Dudley’s earlier remarks, I find Sen.Robert’s talk shockingly deceitful and contemptuous. And to have done such so knowingly and willfully must clearly illustrates how deeply indebted he is to Big Agbiz who through courtship and years of generous political contributions now totally own his political life and soul [–of course all at the expense of lost market opportunities for independent farmers such as myself]. Can anything he said then be worthy of belief? Will the Ag committee let him and Big Agbiz get away with such blatant lying and misrepresentation of facts? Time will certainly tell. Sincerely, A farmer and Republican, Gayland Regier

  34. Byron Barkhurst

    Senator Roberts, if i may, where exactly are you getting your information about the producers and the consumers? I am frankly sick and tired of hearing about how GIPSA is going to hurt the producers and consumers. Anyone in my mind, with any desire to be honest with themselves can see right through the personal attacks, excuses you are making in your statement. I ask anyone, why there is no talk of GIPSA hurting the packers? I submit to you, that the exact reason is because they are who is feeding you this incorrect information about the industry, and that it is they who clearly have the most to lose from fair market practices in the beef industry. It is they Senator Roberts who spend millions of dollars secretly and shamelessly lobbying to convince those in authority such as your self, that rules like GIPSA will hurt the AmericanFarmer

  35. Byron Barkhurst

    or Rancher? It is they Senator Roberts, who wish to continue with the way things are, not caring what they are doing to the American Ranching and Farming family. Who, Senator Roberts, has the back bone and integrity, in the House or the Senate, to stand for what is honest, for what is right? We need someone, anyone, that has the strength and character, to stand for the producers, to be a voice, to be a leader. I ask you Senator Roberts, who will see this as a defining moment in their political career, and Choose to listen to the producers and not the packers?

  36. John O'Donnell

    I am a livestock producer. What Senator Pat Roberts has said in this testimony is simply not true. Livestock producers are under stress and are going out of business at an accelerating rate because the US government refuses to enforce the GIPSA rule. America’s livestock producers are being destroyed because of unlawful manipulation of the markets by the large meatpackers, causing depressed prices for the livestock these producers raise.
    GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler is doing the right thing for livestock producers by seeking to clarify and enforce the GIPSA rule.
    I believe that Senator Pat Roberts is testifying directly for the meatpackers, who would like nothing more than to increase their purchase of foreign livestock, while US producers go out of business.

  37. William Partridge

    I am a beef producer in Kansas. I support USDA’s proposed GIPSA rule. Senator Pat Roberts represents many large beef packers in Dodge City, Garden City and Liberal Kansas, and it shows. I think he has forgot about the beef producers. I didn’t agree with the 2008 farm bill on this matter and I don’t agree with his reasoning. Just because what his intent was 3 years ago doesn’t mean that it is right then or right now.

    Senator Pat Roberts made the most dishonorable and repulsive opening statement that anyone could possibly make at a congressional hearing. Whether you support USDA’s proposed GIPSA rule or not, every American should be appalled at Senator Robert’s theatrics. He lied. He outright lied. Senator Roberts knows, and all his staff knows, that GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler NEVER said that the proposed GIPSA rule is a lawyer’s dream. The speech of Administrator Butler that Senator Roberts purposely prostituted was widely circulated in the media as were transcripts of that speech. Senator Roberts chose to lie for no other reason than to impugn the character of Administrator Butler. Below is the transcript of Administrator Butler’s speech. No one but a disreputable pawn would use this speech in the distorted manner used by Senator Roberts. Administrator Butler said exactly the opposite of what Senator Roberts claimed he said. Administrator Butler said that existing law – the 90-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act – contained vague terms that were, therefore, “a lawyer’s dream.” And, Administrator Butler clearly stated that his goal for the proposed GIPSA rule was to define and set perimeters for those vague terms so everyone in the marketplace knows the rules. America has been disgraced by Senator Roberts.

    2009 Speech of GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler:

    “I truly believe that if you are going to regulate, authority has to be tempered with common sense.
    You cannot try to over-regulate – you cannot try to under-regulate.
    I am a big believer in balance and consistency.
    If we want the industry to survive over the long haul, it has to be balanced.
    We are developing rules that deal with problems in the marketplace across the board.
    It’s just like a piece of legislation, you can’t write a perfect piece of legislation.
    We need your comments so we can put out the best finished product possible.
    Looking at it from the standpoint of sections 202 A and B, when you have terms like unfair, unreasonable, or undue prejudice, that’s a lawyer’s dream, a plaintiff lawyer’s dream. We can get in front of a jury on that without getting thrown out on what we call summary judgment, because that’s a jury question.
    But the real thing now in trying to solve the problem quickly is not only to address the market issues, but to define some of these terms, to put parameters around them. What you can do, what the company can’t do, what has got to happen in the marketplace.”

  38. Valley View Farms

    Senator Roberts comments about the new GIPSA rules are way off base. Poultry growers need these rules to stay in business as we are making less money each year. Growers invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade their poultry operations because the integrators require it to have a contract with them. Our contracts are not giving us a return on this investment. We are struggling to make mortage payments, pay LP gas & electric bills. Add to that insurance & taxes. Growers must take off farm jobs just to keep from losing the family farm. Until agriculture starts to become more profitable for the farmer to stay in business, the economy is not going to grow.

  39. RIchard Carlson

    Sen. Roberts’ comments about the administrator (and the proposed GIPSA rules) were out of line. The good Senator’s motives deserve questioning rather than the administrator’s. How much does Roberts charge the meatpackers to put on the type of show he did?

  40. Cindy Goeller

    I appreciate Sen. Roberts right to oppose the GIPSA rule, but I am apalled at his lying about what Administrator Butler said about the “lawyers dream”. If you read his transcript, Butler was obviously referring to the vague terms in the 90 yr old Packers and Stockyards Act. Let’s keep this discussion truthful!

  41. Harlan Hentges

    Senator Roberts has turned on his constitutents — ranchers and consumers. He is protecting illegal business practices that crippled the economy of rural Kansas. The things he says are incorrect — obviously contrary to the facts. More than 85% of US beef is controlled by three multinationals, the largest of which is Brazilian. Neither the rancher nor the consumer benefits from a foreign corporate monopoly on beef. His position is not conservative or Republican… it is unAmercian. Roberts is selling out his people in exhange for money and power.

  42. Dale Taggart

    It is AMAZING what big money can do to people, and even more to WEAK U.S. Senators. Mr. Roberts is from one of the largest fed cattle states in the union, and will NOT support the cattle producers, but sure will support the meat packers! Guess that money talks and WEAK people bend! We need the GIPSA law finalized. We need to have someone STRONG like Administrator J. Dudley Butler. Stand tall Mr. Butler, you must be really on the RIGHT path with the flak being hurled at you by the BENT Mr. Roberts. We producers need a FAIR chance in marketing our beef. We can grow the best and safest beef on the planet, and we work hard for a little. A bunch of us have quit, because we could not survive with the UNFAIR trade allowed in the past years. IF YOU PUT THE PRODUCERS OUT OF BUSINESS, WHAT WILL YOU EAT?

  43. Tom

    Roberts isn’t defending livestock producers, he is defending meat packers and their subjugation of producers. If only he had done his research into the complaints that were the origins of the GIPSA regulations instead of meat packer talking points, he would know this. We have an incompetent or corrupt government that is sold to the highest bidder and it is ruining the livelihoods of the middle class. Roberts is part of that process. He is either too old to know what is going on or he is corrupted by those in the meat packing industry who disregard the laws already on the books that are supposed to protect the producers from market abuse. It is time to go home, Senator Roberts, and possibly to jail for selling out our legal system to the highest bidder and concentrating the wealth of the nation in the hands of your buddies.


  44. Support Independent Livestock Production!

    The GIPSA rule is a step in the right direction but needs to be even stronger. For years, farmers, their communities and rural economies have been severely depressed by multi-national, corporate control of livestock markets. As an example, here in Missouri, there were 23,000 hog farmers in 1985 and now we have 3,000 hog farmers (a 90% decline). This is not only 20,000 less hog farmers, but thousands of small businesses in rural towns that use to support independent hog (livestock) production.

    This has not happened by accident. And it is NOT because farmers do not want to raise hogs, and it is NOT because independent hog production is less efficient, it IS because corporate agri-business has taken control of the marketplace, AND they have done it with the help of our taxpayer and USDA conservation dollars (i.e. EQIP) at the expense of farm families, the rural economy and the US economy in general.

    For the sake of our great country and the US economy, we need open, transparent and competitive markets, and the GIPSA rule is the first step.

    Tim Gibbons
    Missouri Rural Crisis Center

  45. Georgia Cowhand

    I’m against the GIPSA rule! I’m just a small player in Georgia but one of the guys I sell calves to at a premium tells me he will pay a flat, commodity price if this GIPSA proposal passes. If you watched the hearing the USDA Economist Dr. Joe Glauber (sp?) didn’t sound like he was too thrilled with the proposal. This rule sounds like it’s trying to turn us into a Socialist group all being treated “fair” instead of competing to grow the finest beef for the best price. Why won’t USDA publish the Economic Study of the rule and then let us all see it and comment BEFORE they publish the rule? That sounds unAmerican to me.

  46. Henry Bowmn

    Mr. Roberts is the epitome of what is wrong with America today, especially in Washington DC and most other venues of politics. It is time for he and his ilk to go. They are a major part of the problem, not the solution. Molon labe.

  47. Bob Davis

    I am a conservative Republican cattle producer in Washington State, generally opposed to government regulations that threaten our freedoms.
    In this case however, it is legislation like GIPSA that is needed to protect a free cash market that is the basis for all cattle sales, from the manipulation of monopolistic large packers and Ag Corporations.
    Apparently Senator Roberts and many other politicians have succumbed to their lobbies and financial support over the will of the people and the good of the industry.
    Perhaps it is time for 2-term limits — one in office and one in jail!

  48. Kansas Cattlemen

    Senator Roberts, in his speech, did not speak on behalf of Kansas cattlemen. Cattlemen in our state have told Senator Roberts that we are not looking for one price for all cattle; we just want an honest price. Cattlemen do not want to steal proprietary information; we just want transparency as cattle are traded in an open market. And, cattlemen do not want more government regulations; we just want the law, a law that has been violated with no consequences, to be enforced.

    Instead of supporting that, Senator Roberts is attacking an individual who is trying to correct the injustices in our industry. J Dudley Butler is trying to do his job, and Senator Roberts should support this process rather than curtail it.

  49. Taylor Haynes

    Senator Roberts is either woefully IGNORANT or CORRUPT! If the current system has worked so well Why have we averaged losing 12,000 cattle producing family operations annually since the mid nineties?
    If exports are so greatly needed , why is there a 2.4 billion pound gap between domestic production and consumption?
    I must encourage producers to not be intimidated. If we don’t get the GIPSA Rule passed you will see cattle prices suffer more. They wish to pay us third world prices. Thus the support for “FREE TRADE” especially with nations with “SLAVE LABOR” wages.
    There are many more “SPECIALTY CALF” buyers than calves available. Offer your calves online and see for yourself.

    Stand up now or be gone in a few years. Can you say Chicken,or Pork or Dairy?

  50. Platt Cattle Co

    I am a cattle producer in Arizona and N. Mexico. We need the GIPSA rule now. Roberts and politicians like him either have no grasp of what is happening in our industry or are owned by the multinational giants that control the cattle markets. I don’t know what family ranchers and cattle producers Roberts is trying to “protect”. Take your sanctimony somewhere else Senator.

  51. Bill Garland

    Senators are not ignorant or uninformed so Senator Roberts must be bought and paid for by the meatpackers.
    I would say the Senator earned his money for that rediculeous performance for the ignorant.

  52. Don Hausle

    Senator Roberts is clearly in the pocket of the big meatpackers. He certainly does not represent the producers on the ground who are leaving and have left the industry by the thousands. If our current system was working and we had true competitive markets, this would not be happening. The corporate greed of the big meatpackers and their allies is apalling and threatens the ranching communities way of life. His attack on Mr. Butler is false and despicable.

  53. Kenny Fox

    After reading through most of the comments concerning Sen. Roberts and listening to his rant about Administrator Dudley Butler it is plain to see that Roberts is an outright liar and a mouthpiece for the packers and their trade associations. These GIPSA Competition Rules have been a long time comming and are very necessary for the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. If thes rules are going to do everything that the packers say they will do then why do they oppose them? Hats off to Mr. Butler and thank you very much from the South Dakota Stock Growers Association for cattle producers like myself.

    Kenny Fox
    South Dakota Stock Growers Association

  54. Livestock owner in Ohio

    Hard to express my outrage at Mr. Dole’s attack on Mr. Butler. The GIPSA rule is sought by more than 140 organizations of farmers and ranchers in the US, the on-the-ground producers for this country. If anyone should know what is going on, they would. They know the packers have rigged the system, have cheated people, have strong armed them and threatened them and cut the ground out from under them. And they are fed up with it and grateful for the earnest and courageous work of Mr. Butler to restore fair competition, and pull us back from total corporate monopoly.

    Mr. Dole is no fool and knows what is going on, but Mr. Dole is looking out after Mr. Dole and has been paid to lie for the big meat packers. It’s in his own financial interest to do so, not in the interest of the country and American people he swore to serve.

    Take at look at the direction Mr. Dole’s lies would take us – to imported, corporate owned food. Here’s what that looks like when it comes to fish.

    Then ask yourself if we want these Mr. Dole’s multinational corporate cronies to take total control of the livestock industry here? Do Americans want to be left with imported food and having to eat whatever trash the packers decide to serve us, if and when they feel like it?

    Mr. Dole’s lies are in the service of that nightmare.

    Corporate monopoly over our food would meant the end of US sovereignty, not just sovereignty over food. Because without a national livestock industry, the corporations control food and can feed people or not. And the bankers and these corporations are invested in “not feeing” people.

    If you can control food, that’s total financial and political power.

    If we get down to how deadly serious this all really is, it is not enough to say that Mr. Dole is a liar. Mr. Dole is literally endangering the lives and freedom of the American people. The profound truth is that Mr. Dole is a traitor to the US.

  55. Mike Aldredge

    Senator Roberts certainly has the right to oppose the GIPSA rule, however, I wish he had been truthful in quoting Administrator Butler regarding the “lawyers dream”. Go back in time and read the transcript of the proceedings.

    It is my opinion that Senator Roberts is in the “hip pocket” of the meat packing industry and does not give a darn about the family farms & ranches and their heritage.

    I’ll bet that is constituents in Kansas are up in arms about his stand!!!!!

  56. Will M

    Assuming Bob meant Mr. Roberts.

    Mr. Dole once said something terribly true that fits what Mr. Roberts is doing. Mr. Roberts appears to be paying back his funders with something other than good government. And Mr. Dudley Butler appears to be the whipping boy Mr. Roberts was told to use.

    “When these political action committees give money, they expect something in return other than good government.” — Bob Dole, 1983

  57. George

    besides the obvious misrepresentation of the facts and petty attacks, senator Roberts read in his speach and used the phrase “congressional intent”,. That is a telling phrase as he and buddies in meat packing, are scared and tired of the fact that the grass roots orgs just keep boiling to the top bringing the peoples intent not congressional intent to the suface, (because of the continual forces of the monopoly forces), senator Roberst is not ignorant he has been a pro rep for to many years, he is clearly just pulling his weight for the side that has helped him keep his soft chair, and has won in the past with their money and monopoly.It is truly time for the peoples intent to be realized. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

  58. Will M

    Livestock owner in Ohio seems to have the same confusion as Bob, between Mr. Roberts and Mr. Dole. Is there some reason this might happen in terms of these men’s financial records?

    Turns out yes, Mr. Dole is infamous for lying, too.

    “The Wall Street Journal has confirmed allegations that Dole’s campaign used phony “push” polls to smear the his opponents, and paid over $1 million to just one firm — Campaign Tel — that does this. Worse yet, Bob Dole flat out lied about this when asked about this in February.” …. “The biggest scandal of Dole’s political career is his consistent and intense pattern of doing political favors for big political contributors ….. raking in $500,000 a week last year, even before this presidential campaign began in earnest.”

    Mr. Roberts has taken in 5, 438.000 in large individual and PAC contributions. Divide that by 350,000,000 Americans and that means for only $1.55 a head, he’s willing to sell them all out. People here are not even worth $2 in trade.

    Mr. Roberts’ 2008 contributions broke all records. There were almost double the average contribution to the rest of the Senators. Was he bought off then by the packers for this big lying moment we see now? Were they readying for their big push to take down the US livestock industry by putting him in their pocket? (Looks like he’s in many pockets including biotech, the Kochs, the Blackstone Group, the medical insurance companies, ….

  59. Ranch owner in the south

    Interesting point made by Livestock owner in Ohio. If Americans ante up 2 bucks each to Mr. Roberts, could we have him look after our interests, which he swore to serve. That would be over and above his salary and perks we already pay for. Is we kicked in more and topped the money from the packers, would he finally speak the truth then?

    And since we’ve paid him and have a contract with him to serve us, isn’t he breaking that contract by going behind out back and contracting with others against us?

    I guess it comes down to “How much does it cost to buy Mr. Roberts since his oath is worth nothing?”

  60. Cow/Calf Producer in California

    The meat packers have bought and paid for Senator Robert’s testimony. Just another example of the large corporations buying off congress while the small producer foots the bill. His testimony has nothing to do with the truth but how to best serve himself.

  61. Livestock Owner in Kansas

    Livestock owner in Ohio is a bit out of touch because it’s common knowledge that Mr. Dole hasn’t been a Senator since the 90s. Further, given Mr. Dole’s failing health and his probably permanent residence at Walter Reed, it would be hard for him to attack bulter or anyone else.

  62. Lesley

    Under existing law, you must show that a packer or processor harmed the market by engaging in illegal actions such as collusion, price fixing, etc. This is known as showing “competitive injury.” Under the new definitions included in the proposed rule, “competitive injury” and “likelihood of competitive injury” are re-defined and made so broad that mere accusations, without economic proof, will suffice for USDA or an individual to bring a lawsuit against a buyer (packer or processor). In this case, a producer need only say that he was treated “unfairly” to sue a packer or processor. There is no definition of what “fair” should be, and the term is so broad that no definition could be applied in the instance of cattle marketing because each producer has his own perception of what is “fair.” This change contradicts the rulings of eight U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals which have upheld the need to show competitive injury to the market before you can sue. This will be a bonanza for trial lawyers.

  63. Sam

    This proposed rule requires buyers purchasing livestock through marketing arrangements (including forward contracts, formula contracts, production contracts or other marketing arrangements) to submit a sample copy of each unique type of contract or arrangement to GIPSA within 10 days of it being agreed to. GIPSA will review these arrangements and post them on their website. This takes away a fundamental American business right of allowing a willing buyer and a willing seller to negotiate a private business deal.

  64. Wyoming Farm Girl

    Another example that elected officals have forgotten who they work for, have abandon common sense and skew the free market system at will. We need major reform at all levels of government.

  65. MT

    The PSA in its current form is a plaintiff lawyer’s dream, the proposed rule makes it more so. What Mr. Butler intended really is beside the point.

    If enacted as currently written, the GIPSA rule effectively would end the alternative marketing arrangements that have allowed cattle producers the opportunity to be rewarded for raising cattle with attributes that are more highly valued in the marketplace.

    USDA’s process on this rule has been a joke. A 60 day comment period and no economic analysis? Senator Roberts should be commended for holding USDA accountable and supporting cattle producers’ ability to market their cattle as they see fit.

  66. chickenfarmer

    crook! this definitely proves it. all politicians are scums! they are always looking out for themselves. they don’t give a rats a$$ about us ranchers/farmers or anybody else. this just make my blood boil

  67. Chester Brandt

    I am a rancher from North Dakota and would like to know where Senator Roberts gets the idea that we as grass roots producers have been doing so good in previous years! To be perfectly blunt, Senator Roberts is out of touch with what is going on out in the country with a majority of the producers. Maybe he should take off his lacky suit, put on a pair of work clothes and come out in the country where the work is and see what it is really like. I don’t mind hard work with long hours if I have a fair shake. This is what the proposed GIPSA rule will do. This is all we ask for, a FAIR SHAKE!
    Thank You.

  68. Beef Producer from California

    Senator Roberts has obviously been bought off by the meat packers. He is only looking out for his own financial gain and not supporting the farmers and ranchers.

    Senator Roberts speech before the Senate Ag Committee was untruthful and repulsive.

    We need the GIPSA rules to help restore competition to the market place and level the playing field.

    Administrator Butler is helping the livestock producers by wanting to define and enforce the GIPSA rule.

  69. Kirschenmann Family Farms. cow-calf producers in ND

    Bill Bullard’s lead comment is exactly on target. If Senator Roberts wants to imply that he speaks for real farmers and ranchers he should take the trouble to actually meet with some of us. I both manage our farm in ND and serve in an agriclture program in a Land Grant University and it is time that we begin to work with real farmers and ranchers instead of pandering to vested interests. We now only have 192,442 farmers (as of 2007 census data) who produce 70 perecent of our total agricultural commodities and 30 percent of our farmers are over age 65 and only 5 percent are under age 35. it is time we started listening to and deveolping policies that actually benefit real “on the ranch” famers if we want a viable food system in the near future. And it is time for politicians like Senator Roberts to begin listening to them and supporting policies like the GIPSA rule which protect a free and open market for them.

  70. Mike

    Mike Callcrate- I watched the video probably 10 times. The man clearly says the rule will be a trial laywers dream. Thanks for sending the video. It confirmed Mr. Roberts’ comments.

  71. Simonson Ranch

    As ranchers in Nebraska we are appalled at the way Senator Roberts manipulated J. Dudly Butler’s comment regarding the 90 yr old Packers and Stockyards Act. After reading Mr. Butler’s speech it is blatantly obvious he was not referring to GIPSA. It is even more surprising to discover Senator Roberts represents Kansas.
    Over 85% of beef in the United States is controlled by three multinationals, the largest of which is Brazilian. None of us, ranchers nor those who purchase our products benefit from a foreign corporate monopoly on beef.
    Consumers consistently say they want to buy beef and other meat products raised in the US. We are just asking for a fair playing field.

  72. K. Panzner

    Senator Roberts is saying exactly what the packers want to hear. The packers have almost total control over the cattle market. The only hope for ranchers and independent feedlots and rural America is for the GIPSA rule to be passed and enforced.

  73. Angus producer from Kansas

    Senator Roberts,

    Please don’t take to heart the ignorance of my fellow cattlemen. I know countless cattle producers realize you are looking out for us and the advancement of the entire beef industry. The majority of comments ahead of this are the result of a radical beef organization trying to advance their lost agenda on an agricultural media platform.

    It is a shame that so many U.S. cattle producers are in the dark about the true economics of the existing cattle industry. Our industry was facing a train wreck in the 1970s to early 1990s when we destroyed beef demand by producing an inferior product.

    Thankfully, cow-calf producers wised up and began to realize the beef quality and welfare advantages from value-added beef production. Feedlots recognized those cattle performed better and packing plants realized they graded better and made them more money. Ultimately, consumers benefited with a safer and more palatable beef item. Packers made more money and they passed that all the way back to family farmers and ranchers in additional premiums for value-added management.

    GIPSA will force packers to pay every one the same, whether they sell mismanaged, commodity or value-added cattle. The result will be that my family will no longer be rewarded for value-added cattle production on my family operation. It will destroy market innovation. The consumer will ultimately get the inferior beef product they received in the 1970s to early 1990s. Finally, cow-calf producers will get punished the most as no one will want to take the risk of creating a differentiated pricing strategy for value-added calves.

    Senator Roberts, be strong and continue your hard work in defending our industry. The beef industry needs this rule to fail, and no one needs that rule to fail more than U.S. cow-calf producers. Our family operation depends on it.

    Ignore the radicals and listen to your mainstream constituents who realize the traps and stumbling blocks that lurk behind J. Dudley Butler’s true intentions in this rule.

    A Proud Supporter

  74. Landi McFarland

    It seems that those who are fighting GIPSA are the producers who have been proactive in their genetics and marketing agreements, whereas those in favor of the GIPSA rules are the ones who think everything should be “fair” no matter if you produce high quality or low quality beef. Would you pay the same price for a Cadillac DeVille as a Ford Tempo? Of course not. Apply this theory to beef.

  75. Not for Communism

    I only have a few things to say about the comments on this post:

    #1) The personal attack on Senator Roberts is both unprofessional and just outright dirty. Believe it or not their are cattle farmers and ranchers that are NOT in favor of the GIPSA proposal and Senator Roberts was correct in his statement.

    #2) USDA’s proposed GIPSA rule might as well be something out of a communist regime. You all say you want to receive a fair price for your cattle and want to make the markets more fair. This sound a lot like our current president’s socialist ideology of “spreading the wealth.” And I for one don’t think that’s the way to go about things. If someone works hard to make a business for themselves in the cattle industry and they have a superior product, they deserve to be paid a premium of that product.

    #3) Keep perpetrating your conspiracy theories and demeaning senators publicly and see where it gets you. If you want to get something done this isn’t the way to go about it. And at times like we are facing now, tearing apart the beef industry with quarrels and misconceptions will get us no where. Instead you should be attempting to form alliances with other organizations in our industry and developing comprises that will benefit the industry. Instead you bicker, quarrel, and point fingers and give the AR and environmental activists more fuel for their fire.

  76. Glen Donohoe

    I might be losing my hearing in my old age faster than I thought; but did Senator Roberts not imply that he thinks a government employee’s life is in danger, and suggest that the employee needs to be placed in the witness protection program? Who is he in danger from, Senator Roberts? The meat packers? Truly the Senator needs reprimanded and removed from the senate. When people start making threats I have always found they are short a leg to stand on and their argument is weak. The majority of consumers and cattle producers want fair and transparent markets. The numbers tell the story, fewer producers and fewer cattle than ever before. We should, if you follow the rules of supply and demand given a fair and transparent market, see more profit in the cow-calf segment.
    Finally and perhaps most importantly the principle of our DEMOCRACY is elections, which Senator Roberts seems to want to ignore. The people in power now were not neccessarily around during the last farm bill. They were elected to represent their constituients now, not 4 years ago during the last farm bill nor 100 years ago. NOW SENATOR ROBERTS NOW! It does not matter what the senate rejected the last time.
    I just wish I could move to his state and start a recall petition. Given his many years in office you would think he would be more of a public servant and statesman and less of a blithering tyrant!

  77. Dee Jaspar

    As a conservative Republican and cow/calf producer, I find Sen. Roberts’ comments regarding Mr. Butler’s inappropriate and misguided. As a producer – I feel that we need to clarify the rules and enforce them – and this is just what Mr. Butler is attempting to do with GIPSA. The industry needs regulation that places everyone on a level playing field.

  78. Bob Fortunwe

    Senator Roberts is clearly not working for independant producers.
    He has purposely taken Mr Butlers statement out of context and twisted them to say the opposite of what was said. The proposed GIPSA rule will help to level the field between independat producers and the 3 Big meat packers.

  79. Cor Van Pelt

    Hi folks,
    I have been reading and learning about the GIPSA rules proposed for some time.
    My son has a feedlot and only two packers bid on his cattle.
    It seems that in all the comments I read,those in favor of GIPSA and upset with Sen.Roberts are willing to say who they are.

    Those who seem to favor the senator,who appears to be deep into the pockets of the packers,are hiding behind an alias. Afraid to show your truly color?

    From Alberta,

  80. Merridith Kimberlin

    Our family was very disappointed to think how low Senator Roberts has sunk into the pockets of the powerful lobby of NCBA……how can he represent the individual rancher when he can’t recognize truth? We truly hope he does some deep thinking with the proof that the biggest farm organizations like the American Farm Bureau and the Farmers Union plus numerous other organizations have taken the side of the ranchers in this GIPSA battle. It is good to know Admistrator Butler is willing to tackle the business of fairness in our cattle business when the rules on the books for years have been ignored. The cattle business for the individual rancher has not yet gone into huge corporations as has the hog/poultry business and we need to give the last “family” business in America a chance to survive with the help of GIPSA—and Senator Roberts should give him the opportunity.

  81. Travis Reid-Seedstock Producer

    First and foremost, Senator Pat Roberts is right in his assessment of the proposed GIPSA rule and GIPSA administrator J. Dudley Butler.

    As I seedstock producer, I have worked hard to developed a branded beef product and provide my customers with the best beef eating experience possible. I am against this proposed GIPSA rule as it will tell my customers (consumers and packers) my product is the same as the producer down the street.

    The American Meat Institute has done an economic analysis of the proposed rule, and it will cost the industry BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars. Competition will fiercely decline as the packers will pay one price for all cattle so the lawyers will not be able to sue for unfair prices. I have not see any member in the support of this bill bring up economics???? The reason is they know this bill is an overstep the the USDA in regulation free enterprise within the livestock sector. The NCBA, AMI, and other cattle organizations are behind defeating this rule because that is the right thing to do for the industry as it will do MORE HARM than good, unless you are a lawyer ready to lick your chops.

    I strongly support Sen. Roberts comments, and Secretary Vilsack should remove Administrator Butler immediately for conflict of interest in this rule.

  82. Doug Ferguson

    There are a lot of comments from comrads championing the collective. There is no need for the GIPSA rule. It is totaly bogus, and will completely destroy what is left of the little bitof free market we have.

    I’ll tell you all this. I started my cattle feeding operation from scratch. I didn’t inherit anything. And now I make a good enough living my wife has the option to be a stay at home mom if she chooses. If GIPSA had been implimented in 1998, which is the year I began, I would not be in the cattle biz. I would be an unemployed production welder.

    If any of you had any marketing skill you would know this is a bad deal. I say down with you statism and you all should learn personal responsibility. Get started now, you have much to learn.

    Also a lot of KS folks in favor of this rule. I buy most of my cattle in KS auction barns. (I am from NE) maybe I should look else where to buy.

  83. Allen Livingston IV

    While Senator Robert’s approach to the matter and the calling out of Mr. Butler could have been handled in a better way, I will say that I do agree on many points with him.

    First of all, the proposed GIPSA rule will only further complicate matters for ranchers & feeders, in their dealings with packers. There will be fewer marketing arrangements (i.e. forward contracts, formula contracts, and production contracts). Basically, taking away the free market privileges we enjoy now. In addition to that, buyers would have to justify any all differences in orders from different buyers, and thereby making deals more complicated for packers and feeders alike. If this goes to pass, what’s to keep a packer from stopping the paying of premiums for breed specific, high quality grading cattle, or other programs that represent top quality beef. If there is no incentive or reward to produce quality beef, then the overall quality of beef in the U.S. will go down and as a result people will eat more chicken and pork and there will be a lot of us out of work!

    Second, with the new “open book” stance, there is no guarantee that your information as a seller will be kept private, because it would then be open to the Freedom of information act. This proposed rule opens up several cans of worms that no one wants to deal with, it takes the efficiency we enjoy now and throws it right out the window! This is similar to C.O.O.L., a bureaucratic mess that helps no one.

    Finally, Senator Roberts is not in bed with the packers, neither are the rest of us that are against the proposed GIPSA rule. We’ve done our homework and realize what’s best for the greatest beef producing nation in the world, is to stay the current course. The system’s not broke, it doesn’t need fixing.

  84. T. Cochran

    Senator Pat Roberts, you should be ashamed by your dishonorable and repulsive opening statement at a congressional hearing. You outright lied when you accused GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler of saying that the proposed GIPSA rule is a lawyer’s dream. We, the American public who voted you into office (and pay your salary) understand that we count for very little in the big scheme of Washington and that you’re simply “following the money” that the mega-meat packers dole out. But really, to out and out lie??!! And for no other reason than to impugn the character of Administrator Butler. Kudos to Administrator Butler for his support of America’s farmers, ranchers, and consumers. Everyone who eats, including Senator Roberts, should realize the GIPSA rule is important to keeping American food on American tables. Senator Roberts, you are a disgrace to our great nation.

  85. J. Craig Watts

    How is it legal (as it is surely not ethical) for a US Senator to speak in a hearing and lie like Senator Roberts did during this hearing??? Mr. Roberts there is no honor among thieves and really oughta get out of the beltline and out in the real world and you will see the squeeze that is getting put on the livestock industry by big packers and poultry integrators. I couldn’t figure out why I was laughing so hard during your big packer lovefest manifesto but then I realized that I should have been laughing because you sir are a joke and an embarassment. So dance for your tips but the will of the people will prevail..the rule is going through.

  86. Lloyd

    Great comment Kansas Angus Producer. I agree completely. As a Missouri cattleman, I know firsthand what this rule will do to rural America. Our state had a rule that was almost identical to the proposed GIPSA rule. When it nearly destroyed Missouri’s vibrant agricultural industry, they had to call a special session to fix the mess that was created. The producers commenting in favor of this rule are members of the “Just Enough Club.” These people want to do just enough to get by not not enough to be suceessful. Innovative cattlemen that invest in superior genetics, are willing to spend $5,000 on a bull and not $650, invest in the best animal handling practices and so forth oppose this rule. I have 150 cows and make my living on those cows. I make a comfortable living because I go the extra mile for my consumers and they reward me for it.


  87. Arnold

    Well said Lloyd. The people favoring this rule are the ones that produce beef for dog food not suitable for human consumption. They are still important part of our industry but they are mad that we get premiums and they don’t. Hardcore truth is they just aren’t good enough. It is just like any business, consumers drive price and what these people are producing isn’t good enough. Same reason George Strait can sell tickets at a higher price than Billy Ray Cyrus. These people need to take their Achy Breaky Heart’s home and improve their business istead of seeking government intrusion in the private marketplace. If they were smart, they would all band together and start their own beef jerky company.

  88. Bill

    Senator Roberts is perhaps the biggest champion for the agricultural industry we have. My guess this man will soon be chairman of the senate ag committee. R-CALF has officially pissed off the future chairman. Wise strategy Bill… You were always a bright one.

  89. Mississippi Man

    J. Dudley Butler is bad medicine. All the way around bad. He does need to be entered into the Witness Protection Program. Rural America is very angry. No one would ever cause antual harm to the man and it is dumb to think it. And VERY DUMB to say Sen. Roberts made a threat against the man. Rural America is going to hurt him but we may do a reenactment of the Cowboy Way. If you haven’t seen the movie, watch it and you will know what part I’m talking about.

  90. Cork Meyer

    Senator Roberts has a right to his opinion as long as he speaks the truth (which he has not). As far as value added products I do not see where GIPSA rules will effect them at all it will just make the meat packing monopoly be more transparent and not have any hidden inside trading and backdoor dealings. If they are so very honest with everyone this should not be an issue at all they should be fighting against so hard.
    As far as for Senator Roberts I commend him for his transparency he has shown who pads his campaign.

    Cork Meyer
    Rawlins, Wyoming

  91. Reformed R-CALF Member

    I was an RCALF member when it first got started. It was suopposed to be a legal action fund on one particular issue. It was never suppose to be an actual organization. Now it consits of Bill Bullard and 117 of his closest like-minded friends. These people are completely nuts. If you’ve ever heard any of them speak – well they don’t really speak they just yell – then you would agree.

  92. Calvin Smith

    I am a cow-calf producer in Tennessee. I am also a Republican. I am so disgusted with my Republican Party over this issue. This is clearly and issue between the big corporations and the little guy, the American Cattlemen. Its not hard to determine which side Roberts is on. Some producers have been fooled into thinking this rule will harm them when in reality it is necessary for our long range survival.

  93. Mike Schultz

    Sen. Pat Roberts has always been a burr in our side with agriculture issues here in Kansas. He caters to the so called wheels. I know I have debated issues with him publicly and in writing for over 15 years. Why he has so much power is not that he is supported by the real and informed producers of Kansas? His history is that of having been bought and paid for by the packers and their alignments. Remember he is part of the economic problem because has he been in office and supposedly had power for YEARS… Pay attention to this politician.

    Take a minute and find out about his son selling out Boeing on the Air tanker contract. After the son made 5 million in lobbying fees on the other side then Sen. Roberts started supporting “American Jobs and Boeing in Kansas” (

    Who finances him? It is not people like me.. What he has done to become so successful in D.C.? He doesn’t live in Kansas people and he isn’t Dorthy on the Wizard of Oz.

    Sen. Roberts failed to come in person and participate in the Ag hearings last year and even more specific was the one in Ft. Collins dealing with market competition. The heat was on so why not be a leader and show up? He has fought against cattle and beef producers as well as all USA produced foods getting Country of Origin Labeling with something so simple as to put a USA Product label on our beef and food we produce. He hides under the lies of those who are trying to make competition a thing of the past in all agriculture. He still believes we can import our way to prosperity and he will sell all of you to do it. Just check his record. I once told his staff (2008) to tell him and Sen. Brownback at the time, “if they didn’t think that the problems were so bad why don’t they buy 500 feeder pigs and feed them in Kansas and sell them in the open auction market”? I am still waiting for them to buy them!

    Sen. Roberts has lost touch with what made America great over the years and now why it is being destroyed within. He needs to listen, that is why God put specifically on him two ears and one mouth..

    As for myself, I am a producer of USA cattle and I do care about where my food comes from and who is representing me in politics. I personally am ready to vote all the bums out! Term limits would be greatly appreciated so we keep doing the same thing over and over and over again “because it has always been done like that in politics. We have to start over and rebuild America so that we are first in every aspect of business and life.

    I have never understood those who don’t support access for more who may chose to get into this business. I sell bred heifers and bulls at times and I like more people entering into this business not less! I do not support the theory of less is better with less but some registered breeders said exactly that at the hearing in Ft. Collins. I have to ask who are they going to sell their stock to? As for the lies by the packers that “retailers control them”, it is simple, ban packer ownership and now see how a retailer controlls the industry. It is very simple but we have to quit being lied to and fix the mistakes that scales of economies create over time when unregulated or managed.

    Sorry but it is all true!
    The most disgruntled Republican in Kansas who is ready for a new beginning on rebuilding America.

    Go to: youtube and watch Roy Beck’s gumball presentation “Immigration versus Poverty”.. You may learn something else.

  94. CD Perry

    Senator Roberts is RIGHT ON TARGET! THIS GIPSA REG IS A Regulation designed for Trail Lawyers by a Trail Lawyer. Clearly the little man who wrote the reg knows next to nothing about the Cattle business.

  95. Kay

    On behalf of a family now in the fourth generation of livestock producers, I have to disagree with Senator Roberts. Our industry is currently experiencing a large exodus of producers. This is being driven largely by the marketing practices Senator Roberts is trying so hard to protect. I have to question his motives as he is obviously not trying to protect livestock producers and consumers. Livestock producers and consumers would be protected by the implementation of the GIPSA rule.

    Kay Jensen
    Boulder, WY

  96. Small Cow/Calf

    I must say to read through these comments is both shocking and disturbing? Just because you have a different OPINION from Sen. Roberts you personally attack him for defending need I remind you SEVERAL of his constituents since as of the beginning the proposed GIPSA Rule has been divided and controversial at best?

    It is no secret organizations within our industry do not agree with each other R-CALF and NCBA for example – but do you see anyone at NCBA launching a personal attack on the supporters of GIPSA? Way to be respectful cattlemen!!! You can certainly disagree with his statements and if you choose to support GIPSA (god only knows why) but it’s your choice and not a platform for personal attacks!!

    Our industry has come a long way making genetic improvements and now you want to stifle this?

    We have all been there in the load out – you see that one producer who’s calves are just average why you have spent countless hours, blood, sweat and money to improve your cattle. Do you want the same price as the average Joe? Guess what, if you support this ruling that is EXACTLY what you are doing. If you retain ownership and supply cattle to a branded beef program and like the premiums you receive for these – guess what say GOODBYE if you support GIPSA.

    Look, the decision to support or not is yours but really cattlemen – I’m ashamed of the blatent attacks for someone who is representing several who do not want GIPSA to pass. GROW UP!!

  97. Fred Stokes

    Senator Roberts epitomizes the moral bankruptcy in our congress that drives public cynicism. Here he has uttered a vicious and demonstrably false accusation against the only GIPSA Administrator in memory who has tried to do this job properly. His tirade dovetails with the deceitful propaganda put forth by his fellow conspirators in their frenzied attempt to scuttle the GIPSA rulemaking process.
    Senator Roberts, Sir, you are a man devoid of principal and honor and unfit for the high office you hold!

  98. Reid Phifer

    QUOTE: From Lesley….. June 30, 2011 — 2:07 pm


    “Under existing law, you must show that a packer or processor harmed the market by engaging in illegal actions such as collusion, price fixing, etc. This is known as showing “competitive injury.” Under the new definitions included in the proposed rule, “competitive injury” and “likelihood of competitive injury” are re-defined and made so broad that mere accusations, without economic proof, will suffice for USDA or an individual to bring a lawsuit against a buyer (packer or processor). In this case, a producer need only say that he was treated “unfairly” to sue a packer or processor. There is no definition of what “fair” should be, and the term is so broad that no definition could be applied in the instance of cattle marketing because each producer has his own perception of what is “fair.” This change contradicts the rulings of eight U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals which have upheld the need to show competitive injury to the market before you can sue. This will be a bonanza for trial lawyers.”

    Lesley, you are a somewhat misguided. I have worked with many attorneys and judges, including appellate court judges. These judges who come in behind established written case law in most all cases will never change the previous ruling. The reason for this is because in all reality, they are not sure if the ruling is actually correct or incorrect, and not interested in investing time and energy to prove or disapprove the prior judge’s opinion. It is much easier for a judge to sign off on another judge’s ruling than attempt to change what is already in place. I feel assured you are intelligent enough to understand if you are singled out as a producer by a large meat production company, and treated unjustly according to documented law, you personally should have the right to legal justice. This does not mean you should find it necessary to prove market injustice to the millions of buying public as required by “competitive injury,” but only to prove you have been injured financially and are due adequate compensation for your loss as required by written law. It is never out of the realm of possiblity a judge may use the fact competitive injury was not shown to rule against a group or single individual in a lawsuit against a meat production company. This is why you many times see campaign money donated to individuals large meat production companies want to keep on their payroll in a most discreet fashion. Money has very defined ways of filtering itself through our political and judicial system, but it is done in a very secretive manner.

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  100. Mike


    It is extremely concerning to me as a cattleman that the proponents of this rule continuously sound like extremists and have yet to make any rational argument in favor of this rule. Instead of ranting, screaming and carelessly about how awful things are, one would think there would be some glimmer of reasonable rationale behind these inflammatory remarks. I have yet to hear one rationale remark. All I hear is the industry is shrinking. That’s a fact. But someone insightful would look at the big picture (land values, over regulation, rising feed costs, etc.) as to why that is and not point to government regulation as a solution. In fact, overregulation, in my opinion, is the biggest threat to our industry. Big government has invaded health care… student loans… banks… auto … So why do we need more of it? Do you really think big government setting up shop on our family farms and ranches is a solution? It is a solution to push out farmers and ranchers, certainly not a solution to keep them on their land. ‘For Sale’ signs popping up across rural America will be the result if this rule goes through. Small, innovative producers will fall.

    Blaming the packers seems to be the only talking point for proponets. Who are they kidding? Packers can weather the financial train wreck this rule will cause. Small and big operations that depend on marketing agreements cannot. Packers are part of the beef industry and I sure do not want to eat furry steaks. So instead of engaging in a packers suck campaign, why don’t we engage in a campaign that will ensure the future of all involved in this industry we all love?

    We are all in this together. Let me repeat… WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. History tells you, we will rise as an industry or we will fall as an industry. Stop the name calling and let’s have a free and open marketplace that rewards innovation. A marketplace that truly serves our global consumer base.

    This is saddening to any true cattleman.

    Mike Deering
    Savannah, Missouri
    NCBA Communications Director

  101. Kacy

    In order for the American beef industry to survive, there must be open competition for our product. Meat packers cannot be allowed to have a monopoly and dictate price. Sen. Roberts needs to do more research and have a thorough understanding of what he is talking about before he speaks. To twist and manipulate what was said is the basis of politics, but to do so blatantly is unacceptable. It’s time to stop looking out for the packers, and start looking out for the actual beef producers. GIPSA may not be perfect, but it is important in trying to help maintain a reasonable, common sense system under which we can all make a living.

  102. Margaret Nachtigall

    (As posted yesterday on the Zimm Poll)

    Margaret Nachtigall – 22 hours ago

    It saddens me to hear someone in Mr Robert’s position speak with so little knowlege of the topic – I feel sorry for him!

    He is correct in that the industry is “hamstrung”, but it is NOT due to the proposed GIPSA rule, instead it is due to the past protection of the monopolistic packing industry who have profited exobitantly and at the cost of producers for many years.

    Mr Roberts should also have known that the phrase “plaintiff lawyer’s dream” spoken by J. Dudley Butler over a year ago, referred to the industry WITHOUT the proposed GIPSA rule, and that that lie had long been put to rest.

    It is unconcionable that anyone would use a statement like “Witness Protection Program” when describing someone with the honor, loyalty and ability of J. Dudley Butler.

    The proposed GIPSA is a vital and integral part of the program that will bring about the rebounding of United States Agriculture and the ability to feed this nation and this world.
    Without it America’s livestock producers will continue to deminish.

  103. red cow

    The statement from NCBA Mike Deering is why the beef check-off must be taken out of the hands of the NCBA. The NCBA has relinquished all trust of cattle producers by establishing and staging a captive supply for the meatpackers. What better way to end value-added than to do away with the open cash market? One only has to look at the poultry and pork producers to see were all of this is headed. It is the meatpackers’ dream of total market control.
    Producers are only asking for a fair market value!
    Save our industry and pass the new GIPSA Rule.

  104. Lincoln Reinhiller

    I watched Senator Roberts STRONG STATEMENT as a ranking member
    of the Senate Agriculture Committee. What a bunch of LIES and distortions. This is a ty[pical example of why our country is in the mess we are in today. Neither major political party has the desire to clean up the corruption that exists today. What is the difference between a major
    contribution and a bribe?
    The organization that I belong to has been working since 1988 to point
    out the need to enforce the rules of PSA and other Anti-Trust Laws.
    Senator Roberts STRONG STATEMENT of LIES and distortions is an
    example of types of response to our message.
    GIPSA Administrator, J. Dudley Butler has the “grass roots” experience
    needed to clarify some of the language in the PSA and other Anti-Trust
    North Dakota has had 38% of our livestock producers go out of existance since 1990.This has had a devistating affecton our rural
    communities’ business structure.
    EXAMPLE: A county in SW North Dakota had 1,158 children enrolled
    in school in 1960. In 2010 there were 267!!!
    There have been over 66,000 comments submitted to USDA on the
    proposed GIPSA rule. What has been the response of the US House?
    Eliminate the funding, so that the comments cannot be read or analyzed. TALK ABOUT CORRUPTION!!! Then we have the STRONG STATEMENT by Sanator Pat Roberts lying about the statement of
    GIPSA Administrator, J. Dudley Butler.

  105. Peggy k

    we poultry producers need these rules as well and I know here in the state of Ga the big companies rule our rep and senators EVERYONE call their offices give them a peice of your mind and remind them we are the voters not the big companies who are paying them off we the farmers and our friends and familes are the voting pool. and we can hurt them. so many farms around me have closed down and went into bankrupcy if something is not changed for us there will be more, the hit on the economy will be devastating. so call call call.

  106. Bruce D Messersmith

    Senator Roberts did not do his research before making a most offensive comment. I am a cattle producer who took the time to read the GIPSA rule and to attend the GIPSA hearing in Fort Collins Co.
    What has gotten this country into the dire financial position ti is in is lack or oversight of “big” business and allowing such business to consolidate and merge until there is little or no competition. The “packers” used to each send their own buyer to buy cattle from feedlots or at the open market, now, in many cases, several packers utilize only one buyer to procure their cattle supply. This yields no competitive bidding and lowers the price to the producer. This is only one of the many tools used by the packers to cheat the producers out of income and to dictate policy to their suppliers.
    The GIPSA rule addresses this and many other unfair practices of the “corporate” meat packing industry.
    Poll after poll and meeting after meeting cattle producers have come out in major numbers to support the GIPSA rule. More than two hundred organizations have signed on in support of the GIPSA rule. Obviously, many or our Senators and many of our Congressmen are more interested in supporting big business than voting the will or their constituents

  107. Jerry Faddis

    As a Senator from a state that produces beef, I think what Senator Roberts said is not saying much for himself or for his State and livestock porducers.

  108. Matt Smith

    Senator Roberts is siding with the meat packers. He doesn’t care about us. We are fighting for our lively hood. We need this GIPSA rule to control the meat packers and their price setting. They have way too much power and control over the cattle market.
    Matt Smith Vivian, SD

  109. Beef For Dinner

    Fellow Producers,

    I want to comment, first to Red Cow’s post and then generally to those who favor implementing the GIPSA rule and finally to ALL producers. Red cow is sadly mistaken for thinking that the open cash market is value added marketing. In reality, it is inverse value based marketing. Cash markets fundamentally trade on the average. ANYONE buying a product is attempting to make a profit! Therefore, the buyer pays as much as he has to in order to make the purchase, but needs to leave room to make a profit. When trading in the cash (which is on the average) discounts are levied against the better cattle and premiums are paid for the sub-par cattle (hence the inverse value based designation).

    Now, the proposed GIPSA rules cannot be enacted as written. As a poultry producer and cattle producer, I can see both sides. Integrators have taken many liberties in the poultry industry and much of new rule that will rectify that situation needs to move forward. Unfortunately, what has happened is that necessary protection was hijacked by overzealous regulators that could not enact their will any other way. Since there is no way to change the proposed rules, they must be abandoned in favor of a new set of regulations that will address contract production while leaving true value based marketing arrangements alone. Furthermore, the rules stand little chance of passing a constitutional test anyway, so why waste any more resources on regulation that is destined to be thrown out?

    Finally, to ALL producers I want to simply say thank you! Thank you for all you do every day to feed a hungry world! Truly, that goal unites all of us in the most noble of causes. In fact, there is much more that unites us than divides us. Our fellow producers ARE NOT the enemy! I don’t care which side of the GIPSA rule you are on, or which side of the Mississippi River you call home. From coast to coast and border to border, cattlemen, and poultrymen and hog guys (and gals for all the above) are all the same. We have the same values, conduct ourselves in the same manner and respect the sacrifice our animals make for the existence of mankind. In return, we treat them and care for them with the utmost detail and attention to their needs. We work the precious land of our fathers and forefathers in accordance with the age old rules of Mother Nature as we were the first environmentalists and will be long after that fad is gone. Our Creator has not saddled us with a burden, He has blessed us the good fortune to know the satisfaction of a good day’s work, the patience of a long night’s calving and the sadness of doing our best but still not saving them all. Life’s lessons: You bet! Want another, remember what we learned about getting along in Kindergarten, remember to RESPECT everyone and never, never break the GOLDEN RULE!

    Our enemy is not ourselves! Our enemy is ignorance about our way of life and what we do. Our enemy lives and works in Washington D.C. He is Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS and all his lackies (a term I found in a lot in the comments). The sooner we realize this sad fact, the sooner we can begin to contain the real enemy: ignorance and misunderstanding. As long as we are fighting with each other, HSUS, and PETA and Farm Sanctuary and the like, are defining for the world who we are and what we do, and that is the REal PACK of lies! Everything else is irrelevant if we are regulated out of business, which I am afraid will happen long before we stop calling each other names or taking our ball and going home.


    West Virginia

  110. Mike

    I find it amuzing that seedstock producers tell us what wonderful genetics they have, and the only reason the rest of us favor the GIPSA rule is because we have inferior genetics that wont sell themselves. Well take a guess where we have been buying our bulls.
    And then we have the NCBA boy telling us we are all in this together, well I guess so. The packers have done there level best to screw us and for each screw job there is a screwer and a screwee.

  111. Jeff

    As a farm kid I find it shameful that so many Rural Americans would stoop to such a level. Personally attacking a United States Senator doesn’t seem like the producers I know, where I come from we hold ourselves to a higher standard.

    On another note, the only people making rational points in this discussion are those against the rule. From what I can tell nobody has disagreed with the substance of Senator Roberts comments that GIPSA (and thereby USDA) overstepped their congressional authority. Perhaps that should be the topic of discussion and not tenuous personal attacks on a US Senator.

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