Friday, August 27, 2010

Calls for reform in Fort Collins

From the National Farmers Union:

WASHINGTON (Aug. 27, 2010) – Amid much anticipation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) held a joint workshop focused on competition in the livestock industry in Fort Collins, Colo., today. The workshop had 1300 individuals registered, including Farmers Union members and staff from at least 12 states.

“A lot of attention has been drawn to this workshop based on the recent disputes on the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed rule,” said National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson. “NFU is pleased to have two members on the speaker panel representing U.S. family farmers and ranchers, who are in favor of the proposed rule. It is vital to have speakers from groups that represent the family farmer, not just the packer-producer organizations.”

Chris Peterson, Iowa Farmers Union president, and Armando Valdez, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union member, both livestock producers, spoke at the workshop. Peterson and Valdez each highlighted the need for reform in the livestock industry, with an emphasis on the increasing consolidation and vertical integration in the livestock and poultry marketplace, resulting in a tougher environment for independent producers.

“GIPSA has put forth the revisions as called for by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill,” said Johnson. “The rules reinforce the existing Packers and Stockyards Act and amount to a Farmer and Rancher Bill of Rights.”

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