National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson has submitted comments commending USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration on its proposed rule, calling it a Farmer and Rancher Bill of Rights. Johnson says the Packers and Stockyards Act has been around for 90 years and it's time to start enforcing it. The proposed rule addresses concerns that have been discussed for decades.
"The Farmer and Rancher Bill of Rights will protect farmers and ranchers from anticompetitive behavior by packers and processors," Johnson said. "Industry will no longer be allowed free rein to abuse livestock producers who have limited market power."
However Johnson says some aspects of the proposed rule would benefit from additional clarification and would ease concerns among livestock industry interests. Overall, the proposed rule is a well-done, much-needed regulatory measure to put teeth back into GIPSA and increase access to fair markets for farmers and ranchers.