SDFU Submits GIPSA Comments on Proposed Rules for Livestock Markets

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South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) has sent the organization’s official comments to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) on competition in the livestock market. GIPSA has proposed rules that will make for a more fair market for livestock producers and their products.

In its official comments regarding the Farmer and Rancher Bill of Rights, SDFU said, “For 89 years the packing industry has found ways around the law through loopholes and dishonest practices. Under the newly proposed rules from GIPSA those infractions which have harmed American farmers and ranchers will be addressed and implemented in a way that will swing the pendulum back from packer control of the industry and give those producers the bill of rights they need to stand on.”

The proposed GIPSA rules also provide livestock producers a greater opportunity to settle disputes in court with multi-national meat packing companies.

“We believe the rules which give producers a much needed chance to receive repayment of damages which may have occurred while under contractual agreement with a packer are positive,” SDFU said in its comments. “For an individual to be able to bring civil action against a packer swings the pendulum toward the center of the balance of power.”

SDFU President Doug Sombke says the proposed rules will benefit livestock producers, not hurt them as some organizations representing the meat packing industry have suggested.

“These massive meat packers and processors have had the upper hand for far too long,” Sombke said. “It’s time that we’re on an even playing field, and that all producers have an equal opportunity to get a fair price for their products they work so hard to produce.”

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