GIPSA Dominates Senate Committee Hearing

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:

114 thoughts on “GIPSA Dominates Senate Committee Hearing

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.
    Jerry

  4. 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

  5. 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.

    Sincerely,

    BEEF FOR DINNER
    West Virginia

  6. 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.

  7. 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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