The title makes it sound more like a morality play than a government hearing but “How a Broken Process Leads to Flawed Regulations” is what the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is calling the hearing on Wednesday morning to look into government over-regulation. One of the scheduled witnesses is Colorado cattle producer Robbie LeValley and you can bet your boots that she’ll be talking about the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard’s Administration (GIPSA) proposal.
Robbie, who is also part owner of Homestead Meats, already testified about the impact the GIPSA rule would have on cattle producers before a House Small Business Committee hearing in July. “The proposed GIPSA rule will destroy our small business model, force us to lay off our employees, cripple our ability to market our cattle way we want to and limit consumer choice,” she said. Robbie also talked about how the threat of over-regulation is her biggest concern in an interview from the summer cattle industry meeting.
Another hearing on Wednesday that has the attention of the cattle industry is the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry hearing on feed availability, especially considering the latest USDA report showing tighter grain supplies and higher prices. That hearing will be held at 1:30 pm Eastern time, while the regulation hearing is scheduled for 9:30 am.
Mike Deering with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) did a great Beltway Beef interview with their Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts on both the hearings, as well as what the USDA announcement today regarding additional strains of E. coli means for beef producers. In it, I note that both Deering and Kristina skillfully avoid the technical details of that announcement “declaring six additional strains of non-O157 shiga toxin-producing E. coli (non-O157 STECs), including O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145, as adulterants.” I think Mike missed his calling as a farm broadcaster!