Grecian testifies GIPSA rule would “set the beef industry back”

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An estimated 400 people with a stake in Kansas agriculture attended yesterday’s U.S. Senate Ag Committee Farm Bill field hearing in Wichita. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the ranking member on the committee, welcomed Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to Kansas, where 15 individuals representing all aspects of agriculture presented testimony. KLA President Ken Grecian represented the livestock industry.

Grecian told the committee leadership KLA members are concerned about proposals that would expand the role of government, particularly in the area of livestock marketing. He reiterated KLA policy opposing attempts to narrow the business options or limit the individual freedom of livestock producers to innovate in the management and marketing of their production. The Palco cow-calf producer and farmer said KLA members continue to fight issues defeated during debate on the 2008 Farm Bill, but resurrected in the form of a proposal by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) that effectively would eliminate marketing arrangements adding value to cattle.

“Our members believe the proposed rule would set the beef industry back to a time when all cattle received the same average price and beef demand was in a downward spiral,” Grecian testified.

Grecian also suggested there is no need for a livestock title in the new Farm Bill. He said a livestock title “only provides a home for misguided initiatives” like the GIPSA rule and mandatory country-of-origin labeling.

Roberts said GIPSA clearly acted outside the intent of Congress when it proposed the rule. He recently sent President Barack Obama a list of regulations proposed by the current administration, including the GIPSA rule, that should be reconsidered.

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