PRESS RELEASE: Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2010
FOR MORE INFORMATION: ICON Executive Director
Destry Brown, 308-458-2244
or ICON Director Chris Abbott, 308-282-2826.
Praises New USDA Livestock Rules - Hyannis, NE - June 28, 2010
rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Grain Inspection, Packers and
Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) are supported by the Independent Cattlemen of
According to ICON officials, the new rule, released Tuesday,
will be open for comment until Aug. 23. It will provide new protection for producers
against unfair marketing practices that ICON officials feels it is "a long
"Finally, the Packers and Stockyards Act will have
teeth," said ICON Executive Director Destry Brown. "It has been floundering
ever since it was created and now GIPSA will have some grounds for enforcing it."
years, Brown said, there has been concern in the cattle industry about the fairness
of marketing practices for livestock and poultry. In 2007, he said, several ag-related
organizations pushed Congress to create a directive for market fairness and competition
between livestock producers and add it to the 2008 Farm Bill.
tours sponsored by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in 2008, the need for changes
in the competitive market in the livestock industry was reiterated. Brown said
that at every meeting place across the U.S., farmers and ranchers told their story
of how they were faced with increasing expenses while income dwindled when forced
to compete with a few large packer concentrations of livestock and poultry.
is a way to revitalize rural communities," said ICON President Dave Wright.
"Smaller producers will support their hometown businesses and this rule to
increase fair competition will definitely be an advantage to small rural communities
who right now are dying. The mega-huge producer facilities do not rely on rural
businesses but often order from large companies in bigger cities or over the Internet.
We have been working to change that, to keep our rural lifestyle alive."
to Wright, the development of the proposed rules comes from a grassroots effort
by farm organizations that see the disadvantages and unfair marketing practices
which have left their members helpless.
ICON participated in the rural tours
and also invited the new GIPSA administrator, Dudley Butler, to its convention
last fall in North Platte, where he gave ICON members a glimmer of hope. Butler
has worked hard to carry out his promises, Wright said.
for the small farmer and rancher, but a huge victory for small and mid-size feedlot
operators, which are such an important factor in setting the price of cattle in
the country and at the sale barn," said ICON Treasurer Al Davis. "Dudley
Butler made promises to ICON when he addressed us at our 2009 convention and he
obviously intends to fulfill those promises. I couldn't be happier about this
decision and must credit the work of ICON, R-Calf, and USCA, in putting pressure
on the USDA to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act."
Cattlemen of Nebraska
"Solid as a windmill. Always working for the independent