Understand the GIPSA Rule- A Primer of Pro and Con ThoughtWed, 01 Sep 2010 15:04:54 CDT
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced back in mid June that on June 22, 2010 USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) would publish a proposed rule, as required by the 2008 farm bill and through existing authority under the Packers and Stockyards Act, that would provide what he called "significant new protections for producers against unfair, fraudulent or retaliatory practices."
In the USDA News Release from mid June- "The proposed rules address concerns that have been discussed for many years and were developed at the direction of the 2008 farm bill, which requires USDA to carry out specific rulemaking to improve fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry. During farm bill discussions in 2007, over 200 organizations across the country urged Congress to include a livestock title to improve market fairness and competition for producers. Additionally, USDA identified other areas where new rulemaking is needed to ensure the marketplace is fair and competitive for producers. Many of the concerns addressed in the rule were raised during the dozens of Administration Rural Tour stops attended by Secretary Vilsack last year, and the joint USDA-Department of Justice Competition Workshops held this year. Additionally, GIPSA held three public meetings in 2008 to gather comments, information, and recommendations from interested parties."
Immediately, proponents flooded the Radio Oklaoma Network with News Releases with great things to say about the proposed rule, while those opposing the adoption of this rule have done the same thing- issued lots of news releases saying that the rule was well outside of what the USDA was authorized to do in the 2008 farm law and would be the most sweeping changes seen in livestock marketing rules in perhaps the last one hundred years.
The following links will help you get familiar with the rule and hear both sides of the measure. You need to decide where you stand after reading the rule- and then comment to USDA by November 22, 2010.
First of all- click here to read the actual text of the Proposed Rule-- which was released back in June and has been revised to accept comments on these proosals until November 22, 2010.
Click here for what you might call an executive summary of the GIPSA Rule- as USDA pitches the concepts of the rule to those reading them.
A few days after the proposed Rule was released- and a firestorm of criticism was offered, USDA took an unusual approach and offered a second explanation of the rule to those who had doubts about it- these comments were called Misconceptions and Explanations to the GIPSA rule.
Since June, a key ruling came from USDA quietly, as they extended the comment period for the GIPSA Rule by ninety days.
Comments on the GIPSA Rule may be provided until November 22, 2010. Click here to jump to the USDA website that has details of how you can offer comments by Email or electronically.
One of the other documents that USDA has released as they have campaigned openly for the adoption of this measure are what they call an explanation of what a violation looks like to them- Click here for the Examples that USDA has pulled from the poultry industry to bolster the case for the GIPSA Rule.
The following links are from some of the livestock industry players who are either pro or con regarding the GIPSA Rule.
Here is a fact sheet on the GIPSA Rule written by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
Click here for an overview as drafted by the National Pork Producers Council
R-Calf USA is a strong supporter of the proposal as written. They have an overview of the GIPSA rule in two parts- click here for Part One.
Click here for Part Two of the R-Calf tutoral on the GIPSA Rule as they see it.
One other group that has offered some analysis is the Organization for Competitive Markets- Executive Director Fred Stokes has authored a multi page letter about the GIPSA Rule- click here to read it.
We have several audio reports that can give you a feel of the pro and con of this measure:
Click here for our audio conversation with Gregg Doud of NCBA about the economic storm clouds that accompany the GIPSA Rule.
We did an extensive audio Q&A with Colin Woodall of NCBA when he was in Ardmore, Ok for the Southern Plains Beef Symposium- click here for that.
Feedlot Legend James Herring of Texas was one of those on a producer panel at the DOJ-USDA Workshop August 27 in Ft. Collins- click here for our conversation with James about his view of the GIPSA Rule.
Two interviews that we had in Ft. Collins with supporters of the GIPSA Rule included Q&A with the CEO of R-Calf USA. Click here for our conversation midday on that Friday with Bill Bullard, who was obviously please with the turnout of GIPSA Rule supporters.
We also talked with Kansas Feedlot operator Allen Sents who is a member of the Board of Directors for US Cattlemen. Click here for that conversation- as Allen contends that the fears of litigation are way overblown by the opponents.
On September First, we sat down and talked about the Ft. Collins meeting with an Oklahoman that was there- Roy Lee Lindsey, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Pork Council. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear our extensive conversation with Roy Lee about the Ft. Collins meeting as it relates to the GIPSA rule- and his expectation that USDA will push forward and adopt the GIPSA Proposal in some form during 2011.
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