House Lawmakers Continue To Discuss Livestock Issues

On Thursday, lawmakers on the House Agriculture Committee held another hearing on livestock market issues, hearing from producers, packers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other lawmakers. Scott Bennett, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director, said the hearing included testimony from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.

“It’s the first time in modern history that a sitting Senator has come across the Capitol to the House side to testify in front of a committee. Senator Grassley has an effort around mandatory minimum negotiated trade and he plead his case in front of the committee. We also had Secretary Vilsack discuss what USDA is doing in regard to the livestock industry, including the $500 million for small and regional packing capacity expansion.”

Bennett said the hearing included a discussion on anticipated Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration pending rules.

“There are three anticipated rules from USDA. One will involve undue preference, one will involve competition and the third, that is relatively new, will involve the tournament pay system in poultry. Secretary Vilsack, in his testimony, said we could anticipate those rules by the end of this year.”

Bennett added the Farm Bureau is working on other issues for livestock producers, including the extension and authorization of Livestock Mandatory Reporting as well a new swine inspection system.

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