Several agriculture organizations, including the National Farmers Union, are urging their members to attend this Friday's workshop on livestock, sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Justice in Fort Collins, Colorado. NFU President Roger Johnson says along with NFU members all livestock producers should attend. The NFU says the workshop's timing is ideal, as the comment period on the proposed rule published by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration in the Federal Register has been extended.
"U.S. farmers and ranchers should attend this workshop to have their voices heard directly by USDA and DOJ staff," Johnson says. "We must be sure that the packer-producer organizations are not the only people at the table when discussing this important issue."
Johnson calls the proposed GIPSA rule changes a Farmer and Rancher Bill of Rights. The proposed rules require USDA to carry out specific rulemaking to improve fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry. Johnson says GIPSA's proposed rule changes will bring clarity to the regulations, so that farmers and ranchers are able to take action if they are victims of market abuses by packer-processors. The rules will also allow for more transparency in price and contract negotiations.