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Only One Stood Up for Producers in the House.....

Tex

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.....the rest went with the money



Updated R-CALF USA Member Alert

(This is not a News Release)

To: R-CALF USA Members and Affiliates



From: Bill Bullard, CEO



Date: June 16, 2011



Subject: One Lone Congresswoman Stands Up for U.S. Livestock Producers



With only one congressional member in the entire U.S. House of Representatives willing to fight to preserve competitive markets for U.S. livestock producers, no amendment was offered to strike the appropriations language that would kill the GIPSA rule. Late last night, Representative Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat from Ohio, was the only U.S. Representative to stand on the floor of the House and go on record in support of U.S. farmers and ranchers. Congresswoman Kaptur included strong words in opposition to the House’s effort to kill the GIPSA rule and she included the recent Farm Bureau letter in opposition to the appropriations language as well as the letter signed by over 140 organizations in full support of the GIPSA rule, which includes R-CALF USA, its affiliates, and many other organizations fighting on our side.



I have copied the relevant Congressional Record below for your review.



We will now have to defeat this anti-GIPSA rule language in the U.S. Senate. And, we are thankful that Congresswoman Kaptur included such strong opposition to the House’s action as this will help us win in the Senate.



The House has sold out U.S. livestock producers, there’s no other way to put it.



The House has not yet voted on the Appropriations Bill so we will keep you informed if any new developments occur.



Thanks to all of you who worked so hard to win this uphill battle. We didn’t win this one, but by no means are we done fighting. THANKS!



Bill



From the Congressional Record: June 15, 2011

Ms. KAPTUR. I just wanted to ask the gentlelady if she would find the present time convenient to enter into the discussion regarding GIPSA, though we are on this amendment at this point.

Mrs. LUMMIS. With the Chairman's leave, I would consent.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized.

Mrs. LUMMIS. Would you consent to a departure as I use the remainder of my 5 minutes to discuss the issue of the stockyards and the GIPSA rule?

The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized for the remaining time.

Mrs. LUMMIS. I yield to my colleague from Ohio.

Ms. KAPTUR. I thank the gentlewoman. And while I will not offer an amendment to strip section 721 , a legislative provision that prevents the U.S. Department of Agriculture from doing its job as instructed in the farm bill, relative to fair competition in meat products so consumers get fairly priced meats, I otherwise rise in strong opposition to the language that's in the bill.

And when the authorizing committee wrote the farm bill, USDA was directed to use the existing packers and stockyards act to restore fairness to livestock and poultry contract markets. But instead of allowing the agency to do its job, Congress, in an uneven-handed way, has allowed itself to become captured by the consolidated meat industry.

And while ranchers, farmers and producers are increasingly being squeezed out of the markets, and small, local slaughterhouses continue to close, large consolidated players manipulate the rules to favor their own business operations, and meat prices rise. Congress simply can't stand by silent.

So on behalf of the millions of farmers, ranchers and producers that struggle every day to survive as they face the gargantuan task of competing against monopolistic entities, I oppose the base language in 721 .

And I would like to place two statements in the Record, a letter from the American Farm Bureau opposing section 721 and a letter from over 140 organizations supporting the pro-competition proposals made by the Department of Agriculture.

AMERICAN FARM

BUREAU FEDERATION,

Washington, DC, May 31, 2011.
Hon. Marcy Kaptur,
House of Representatives, House Office Building, Washington, DC.

DEAR CONGRESSWOMAN KAPTUR: On behalf of the six million families represented by the American Farm Bureau Federation, we write to support your amendment to allow the Agriculture Department (USDA) the opportunity to complete reviewing the 60,000 comments received and the proposed rule entitled ``Implementation of Regulations Required Under Title XI of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008; Conduct in Violation of the Act.'' It is also imperative that USDA continue its economic analysis of the rule.

Farm Bureau is in the unique position of representing every species impacted by this rule. We also have no affiliation with major packers, integrators or processors, and therefore our only interest is the impact of this rule on farmers and ranchers. Because of this unique position, there are several provisions in this rule that we strongly support, while others give us pause.

Generally speaking, Farm Bureau's philosophy supports a market environment where our farmers and ranchers can sell their product in a way that best fits with their individual operation and risk aversion level. Our policy clearly states that ``We support efforts to ensure open markets to all producers.'' Over the years, our farmers and ranchers have recognized the need for a referee in the marketplace, and Farm Bureau policy supports the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) in that role. Some of our policy supporting the authority of GIPSA includes:

``We ..... oppose any attempt to lessen the ability of [GIPSA] to adequately enforce the act and its regulations.''

``We support more vigorous enforcement of U.S. antitrust laws in keeping with original intent; to include ..... [the] Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921.''

``The Packers and Stockyards Act should be amended to ..... strengthen the ability of GIPSA to stop predatory practices in the meat packing industry.''

We support ``establishing GIPSA as the overall authority and provider of oversight to ensure livestock contracts are clearly-written, confidentiality concerns are addressed, investments are protected .....'' as well as ``enhanced price transparency, [and] price discovery,'' and ensuring that ``contractors honor the terms of contracts.''

These overarching policy principles guide Farm Bureau's comments on this proposed rule.

It is also worth noting that Farm Bureau has consistently requested thorough economic analysis from agencies when promulgating new rules. Without such an analysis it is difficult for America's farmers and ranchers to assess the true impact of rules and to understand all of the implications of proposed rules. This rule is no exception.

We oppose language to preclude USDA from reviewing the comments and completing their economic analysis and are strongly opposed to any action that would stop work on that rule.

Sincerely,

Bob Stallman,
President.

--


House of Representatives,
Washington, DC, April 21, 2011.

ATTN: Agriculture & Appropriations Legislative Aides

DEAR REPRESENTATIVE: As a result of rapid consolidation and vertical integration, the livestock and poultry markets of this nation have reached a point where anti-competitive practices dominate, to the detriment of producers and consumers. Numerous economic studies in recent years have demonstrated the economic harm of current market structures and practices, and have called for greater enforcement of existing federal laws in order to restore competition to livestock and poultry markets.

Until recently, Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have largely ignored these trends. Fortunately, Congress included language in the 2008 Farm Bill to require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to write regulations, using its existing Packers and Stockyards Act authorities, to begin to restore fairness and competition in livestock and poultry markets.

On June 22, 2010, the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Agency (GIPSA) issued proposed rules to implement the 2008 Farm Bill mandates, and to address related anticompetitive practices in the livestock and poultry industries. These reforms are long overdue and begin to respond to the criticisms by farm groups, consumer groups, the Government Accountability Office and USDA's Inspector General about USDA's past lack of enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act. The proposed GIPSA rules define and clarify terms in the Act in order to make enforcement more effective, and to provide clarity to all players in livestock and poultry markets.

The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 makes it unlawful for packers, swine contractors, and live poultry dealers to engage in any ``unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practice or device,'' or to ``make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person or locality in any respect, or subject any particular person or locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect.'' The ambiguity of these terms has resulted in uncertainty in the marketplace and hindered enforcement of the Act.

Key provisions of the proposed GIPSA rules would:

Provide contract growers with commonsense protections when making expensive investments in facilities on their farms to meet the packer or poultry company requirements; provide growers, farmers, and ranchers with access to the information necessary to make wise business decisions regarding their operations; require transparency and eliminate deception in the way packers, swine contractor and poultry companies pay farmers; eliminate collusion between packers in auction markets; and provide clarity about the types of industry practices the agency will consider to be unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or when certain practices give unreasonable preference or advantage. These are all terms used in the existing statute, which have never been adequately defined.

Prohibit retaliation by packers, swine contractors or poultry companies against farmers for speaking about the problems within industry or joining with other farmers to voice their concerns and seek improvements. Currently, many farmers are often retaliated against economically for exercising these legal rights.

Allow premiums to be paid to livestock producers who produce a premium product, but requires the packer or swine contractors to keep records to detail why they provide certain pricing and contract terms to certain producers.

Reduce litigation in the industry by eliminating the ambiguity in interpretation of the terms of the Packers and Stockyards Act. Such ambiguity leads to litigation as farmers and packers seek court action to clarify the intent of the Act.

GIPSA has received approximately 60,000 comments on the proposed rule during the five-month public comment period that ended in November 22 of 2010. USDA is in the process of analyzing those comments, and providing the in-depth cost-benefit analysis necessary before issuing the final rule.

Because of the great importance of this rule to livestock and poultry producers and consumers, and the large volume of misinformation about the rule perpetuated by livestock and poultry trade associations and packer-producer groups, the undersigned organizations are writing to reiterate our strong support for the GIPSA rule and for its swift publication in final form.

We urge your support for the GIPSA rulemaking process, and its efforts to restore fairness and competition in our nation's livestock and poultry markets.

Sincerely,
Agriculture and Land Based Training Association (CA); Alabama Contract Poultry Growers Association; Alliance for a Sustainable Future (PA); Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO)--MT; Ambler Environmental Advisory Council; American Agriculture Movement; American Corn Growers Association; American Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO), Local 3354, USDA-St. Louis (representing Rural Development and Farm Loan employees in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas); American Grassfed Association; American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association; Ashtabula-Lake-Geauga County Farmers Union; BioRegional Strategies; Buckeye Quality Beef Association

[Page: H4262] GPO's PDF

(Ohio); C.A.S.A. del Llano (TX) California Dairy Campaign; California Farmers Union; California Food & Justice Coalition; Campaign for Contract Agriculture Reform; Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment; Carolina Farm Stewardship Association; Cattle Producers of Louisiana; Cattle Producers of Washington; Center for Celebration of Creation; Center for Food Safety; Center for Rural Affairs; Chemung County Church Women United (NY); Chemung County Council of Churches (NY); Chemung County Council of Women (NY); Church Women United of Chemung County (NY); Church Women United of New York State; Citizens for Sanity.Com, Inc.; Citizens for Sludge-Free Land; Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association; Community Alliance for Global Justice; Community Farm Alliance (Kentucky); Community Food Security Coalition; Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias; Court St Joseph #139, Coming/Elmira, Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Corning, NY; Crawford Stewardship Project; Cumberland Counties for Peace & Justice; Dakota Resource Council; Dakota Rural Action; Davidson College Office of Sustainability; Ecological Farming Association; Endangered Habitats League; Family Farm Defenders; Farm Aid; Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance; Farmworker Association of Florida; Fay-Penn Economic Development Council; Federation of Southern Cooperatives; Food & Water Watch; Food Chain Workers Alliance; Food Democracy Now!; Food for Maine's Future; Gardenshare: Healthy Farms, Healthy Food, Everybody Eats;
Georgia Poultry Justice Alliance; Grassroots International; Heartland Center/Office of Peace and Justice for the Diocese of Gary, Indiana and the Integrity of Creation; Hispanic Organizations Leadership Alliance; Idaho Rural Council; Illinois Stewardship Alliance; Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (I-BAND); Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska; Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement; Iowa Farmers Union; Island Grown Initiative Izaak Walton League; Kansas Cattlemen's Association.
Kansas Farmers Union; Kansas Rural Center; Ladies of Charity of Chemung County (NY); Land Stewardship Project; Main Street Opportunity Lab; Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; Michael Fields Agricultural Institute; Michigan Farmers Union; Michigan Land Trustees; Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance; Midwest Environmental Advocates; Midwest Organic Dairy Producers Association; Minnesota Farmers Union; Missionary Society of St. Columban; Mississippi Livestock Markets Association; Missouri Farmers Union; Missouri Rural Crisis Center; National Catholic Rural Life Conference; National Family Farm Coalition; National Farmers Organization; National Farmers Union; National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association; National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Nebraska Farmers Union; Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society; Nebraska Wildlife Federation; Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility; New England Small Farm Institute; Nonviolent Economics; North Carolina Contract Poultry Growers Association; Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Northeast Organic Farming Association--NY; Northeast Organic Farming Association, Interstate Council; Northern Plains Resource Council; Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance; Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association; Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance; Ohio Farmers Union; Oregon Livestock Producers Association; Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility; Oregon Rural Action; Organic Consumers Association; Organic Farming Research Foundation; Organic Seed Alliance; Organization for Competitive Markets; Partnership for Earth Spirituality; Past Regents Club, Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Diocese of Rochester, NY; PCC Natural Markets; Pennsylvania Farmers Union; Pennypack Farm and Education Center (PA); Pesticide Action Network North America; Pomona Grange #1, Chemung County NY; Powder River Basin Resource Council (WY); R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America; Rocky Mountain Farmers Union; Rural Advancement Foundation International--USA (RAFI-USA); Rural Coalition; Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia; Slow Food USA; South Dakota Livestock Auction Markets Association; South Dakota Stockgrowers Association; St John the Baptist Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order, Elmira, NY; Sustain LA; Taos County Economic Development Corporation; Texas Farmers Union; The Cornucopia Institute; Tilth Producers of Washington; Trappe Landing Farm & Native Sanctuary; Veteran Grange #1118, Chemung County, NY; Virginia Association for Biological Farming; Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC); WhyHunger; Women, Food and Agriculture Network.

The meatpackers have a stranglehold on this House, scaring Members with millions of dollars in campaign contributions and real threats of political retribution. Instead of engaging in well-meaning public debate and attempting to win on the merits of the argument, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which has a right to speak out, but not a right to intimidate, sent out a national notice to its members to harass the American Farm Bureau. This is not the nature of well-meaning debate and, for many, has crossed the line of propriety.

I urge my colleagues to resist the misinformation and to stand strong for independent producers and family farmers and ranchers.

Section 721 of the base bill goes further than many realize. It will stop USDA from conducting its economic analysis of this industry.

The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. KING of Iowa. I yield to the gentlelady from Ohio.

Ms. KAPTUR. I thank the gentleman so very much for that kind effort.

The current proposal will silence the nearly 60,000 comments on the rule because it will prevent USDA from reading the record. And, finally, it will undermine long overdue fairness in poultry and livestock contracts for millions of farmers, ranchers and producers.

By allowing section 721 to remain in the bill, the House is standing with the few big meatpackers and against the many thousands and thousands of producers.

To understand how illogical this committee's action is, I refer the House to the committee report where, on competition issues, the committee directed USDA to submit legal documents by June 10, 5 days ago, and before the House began consideration of this bill. On its face, the committee has directed the agency to comply with something before the House has even considered the bill. Is this proper?

Furthermore, I would note that, ironically, if section 721 were to be implemented, the agency would not be able to comply with its own report language. If there ever was a time that the Appropriations Committee has overstepped its bounds, this is it.

After the 2002 farm bill, this committee prevented USDA from implementing an important provision of law known as the Country of Origin labeling. It was the same consolidated meat packing industry crying from the rafters with claims of exaggerated economic costs which was behind the meat labeling COOL delay. We seem to have returned to the dark days, recycling the same talking points.

It took us almost 8 years and, finally, consumers now have the legal right to see where their meat comes from, which is what the vast majority of the American people wanted. So on behalf of the millions of farmers, ranchers and independent producers, I pledge to continue this fight and to prevent a similar 8 years of delay and confusion on USDA competition rules in the meat industry.

Let USDA do its job.
 
A

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Wrong again Tex!

The congressmen and women who stood in support of the independent livestock producers were those who opposed the GIPSA rules which would have turned back the hands of time into the stone age of having to justify incentives for higher quality cattle.

As I said before, if they were as evil as you believe, the large packers should be the biggest proponents of this socialized cattle marketing agenda. They could pay an average price for all cattle regardless of the quality and pocket those carcass premiums themselves.

There is many progressive cattlemen that oppose the GIPSA rules and most of them understand the factors that affect cattle prices as opposed to those who blame baseless conspiracy theories for every downturn in the markets.

May the baseless socialized cattle marketing GIPSA rules be shot down in flames.


~SH~
 

Tex

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~SH~ said:
Wrong again Tex!

The congressmen and women who stood in support of the independent livestock producers were those who opposed the GIPSA rules which would have turned back the hands of time into the stone age of having to justify incentives for higher quality cattle.

As I said before, if they were as evil as you believe, the large packers should be the biggest proponents of this socialized cattle marketing agenda. They could pay an average price for all cattle regardless of the quality and pocket those carcass premiums themselves.

There is many progressive cattlemen that oppose the GIPSA rules and most of them understand the factors that affect cattle prices as opposed to those who blame baseless conspiracy theories for every downturn in the markets.

May the baseless socialized cattle marketing GIPSA rules be shot down in flames.


~SH~


If you knew anything about the rules, SH, you would know that the rules do not disallow premiums in any way. They just make meat packers justify them.

You have just repeated the big lie that the meat packers and their PR firms spread. You have been drinking the kool-aide.

Tex
 

mrj

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Tex, the rules do far more than what you say.

The most obvious is that they create more bookwork, probably even attorney fees, to justify every sale, or class of cattle.

Those rules were created with some intent, according to J. Dudley Butlers' coments indicating they would be a litigation attorneys dream.

More regulatory over-reach is definitely not something the cattle/beef industry needs.

We are not currently using the grid pricing, people who buy our calves and yearlings for their feedlots are able to pay better prices for our better quality cattle BECAUSE they are rewarded by packers for the extra effort they and we put into providing such cattle.

I'm surprised that you and others supporting this debacle prefer to make it easier for packers to pocket the difference in carcass quality known only after the hide is off!

mrj
 
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Tex: "If you knew anything about the rules, SH, you would know that the rules do not disallow premiums in any way. They just make meat packers justify them."

As I understand packer blaming conspiracy theorists, the only option for packers would be to pay the same price for all cattle, regardless of quality, or face constant frivilous lawsuits from "NOT FAIR, NOT FAIR" government cattle pricing advocates like you.

The interpretation of the justification for different prices will be left in the hands of people like you that don't even understand fat cattle marketing enough to realize that you can't determine whether cattle are of the same quality until they have been processed.

The GIPSA rules will serve to allow more government intervention into the free market system. Conspiracy theorists like you and your government allies will determine what is fair as opposed to the buyer and seller.

If this same "socialized" marketing scheme were advocated for the feeding and cow /calf sectors, those segments of our industry would never stand for it.

SOCIALISM, pure and simple. May your the GIPSA rules be shot down in flames.



~SH~
 

Mike

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GIPSA has made it clear that its rules are not intended to “limit or eliminate the ability of companies to provide premiums to reward producers for providing certain quantity or quality of livestock,” McDonnell said. “We will continue to stay engaged to ensure GIPSA stays true to these proposed intentions and to be clear that nothing in these rules will jeopardize a premium-based market.”

The word "quantity" being placed in this statement is sorta scary.
 

Tex

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mrj said:
Tex, the rules do far more than what you say.

The most obvious is that they create more bookwork, probably even attorney fees, to justify every sale, or class of cattle.

Those rules were created with some intent, according to J. Dudley Butlers' coments indicating they would be a litigation attorneys dream.

More regulatory over-reach is definitely not something the cattle/beef industry needs.

We are not currently using the grid pricing, people who buy our calves and yearlings for their feedlots are able to pay better prices for our better quality cattle BECAUSE they are rewarded by packers for the extra effort they and we put into providing such cattle.

I'm surprised that you and others supporting this debacle prefer to make it easier for packers to pocket the difference in carcass quality known only after the hide is off!

mrj

mrj, the rules are intended to make sure that meat packers are offering the same premiums to anyone who can produce the same quality of animal, no matter who they are.

I know the argument you are making in the second paragraph. That argument was used in the Pickett case with the cash sellers (which was the price setting mechanism for the market). I think they made their case to the jury and won. Their victory was taken from them by a few judges who bounced their decision off of a poultry case where they said that in order to have a case, you must show harm to competition, not just harm to a producer. That case turned the whole law around and the GIPSA rules were meant to counter that tactic implemented by the packer attorneys and a few judges in the 11th circuit.

Here are the rules for your help:

http://archive.gipsa.usda.gov/rulemaking/fr10/06-22-10.pdf

You might want to read them and the reasons behind why they actually wrote the rules they wrote.

Yes, this will make it more difficult for meat packers to manipulate the market and it will make them be more fair to the market as a whole. That is the reason for the rules in the first place and the Packers and Stockyards Act.

Tex
 

Tex

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~SH~ said:
Tex: "If you knew anything about the rules, SH, you would know that the rules do not disallow premiums in any way. They just make meat packers justify them."

As I understand packer blaming conspiracy theorists, the only option for packers would be to pay the same price for all cattle, regardless of quality, or face constant frivilous lawsuits from "NOT FAIR, NOT FAIR" government cattle pricing advocates like you.

The interpretation of the justification for different prices will be left in the hands of people like you that don't even understand fat cattle marketing enough to realize that you can't determine whether cattle are of the same quality until they have been processed.

The GIPSA rules will serve to allow more government intervention into the free market system. Conspiracy theorists like you and your government allies will determine what is fair as opposed to the buyer and seller.

If this same "socialized" marketing scheme were advocated for the feeding and cow /calf sectors, those segments of our industry would never stand for it.

SOCIALISM, pure and simple. May your the GIPSA rules be shot down in flames.



~SH~

Wow, you sure like packer cool aid, don't you, SH?


Let me ask you, do you think packers should be able to discriminate in price for the same quality of animal?

I would go with "same quality" as what they sell in the store, not what they say. For instance, if they price differentiate mrj's fat cattle (you actually don't have fat cattle for sale, do you mrj?) as mrj's fat cattle and get a 10 cent premium in the store for those cattle, sharing 3 cents with the retailer and keeping 3 cents for themselves and giving mrj 4 cents, that would be totally acceptable, in my eyes. If they could do it, more power to them and more power to mrj for providing a perceived difference for a premium.

I would like to see that same premium be offered to other people who can produce just as good a product that might end up in mrj's label. I hope the label actually has a difference in quality that would get people to keep buying it and paying a premium. I would hope all the cattle prices go up because people started producing premium cattle for these kind of markets. It would benefit everyone.

Offering premiums to only certain people not justified will only turn the market into a giant ponzi scheme as it has already in poultry.

Tex
 

mrj

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Tex, I believe it was quite clear when I stated that people who buy our cattle for their feedlots indicated that we are not currently feeding them out ourselves. Peolpe who have had success achieving high quality carcasses from a specific ranch realize that, barring changes in cattle produced by that specific ranch, they are more likely to be able to get the premiums after processing than if they purchase cattle of an unknown history and record. Feeders who have received premiums for high carcass quality have more ability and usually more incentive to pay better prices for higher quality cattle with a herd history of higher quality carcasses. Therefore, producers with a history of quality can get better prices than those with unknown after processing history.

Re. problem with reference to "quantity", there are times when a given quantity is necessary for a packer to keep the costly equipment and workers operating smoothly. I have a friend who has gotten premiums when he can get a specific number of cattle to the packing plant quickly. Living in relatively close proximity, and having the right type and weight of cattle, with a known history of quality from his feedyard, he often is able to gain that premium for "quantity" in addition to any quality premium available. BTW, he also understands that fat cattle MUST arrive at the time required! These are NOT large numbers. Also, many cattle trucks haul 50,000 pounds of cattle, which is why cattle are often sold in 50,000 pound load of cattle looking like "peas in a pod" (wish I had a dime for every time I've heard that phrase used to describe a pen of fancy calves!!!) If a producer does not have enough cattle to make a 50,000 load lot, he is likely to get less for his,whether at the local sale barn or elsewhere.

mrj
 

Tex

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mrj said:
Tex, I believe it was quite clear when I stated that people who buy our cattle for their feedlots indicated that we are not currently feeding them out ourselves. Peolpe who have had success achieving high quality carcasses from a specific ranch realize that, barring changes in cattle produced by that specific ranch, they are more likely to be able to get the premiums after processing than if they purchase cattle of an unknown history and record. Feeders who have received premiums for high carcass quality have more ability and usually more incentive to pay better prices for higher quality cattle with a herd history of higher quality carcasses. Therefore, producers with a history of quality can get better prices than those with unknown after processing history.

Re. problem with reference to "quantity", there are times when a given quantity is necessary for a packer to keep the costly equipment and workers operating smoothly. I have a friend who has gotten premiums when he can get a specific number of cattle to the packing plant quickly. Living in relatively close proximity, and having the right type and weight of cattle, with a known history of quality from his feedyard, he often is able to gain that premium for "quantity" in addition to any quality premium available. BTW, he also understands that fat cattle MUST arrive at the time required! These are NOT large numbers. Also, many cattle trucks haul 50,000 pounds of cattle, which is why cattle are often sold in 50,000 pound load of cattle looking like "peas in a pod" (wish I had a dime for every time I've heard that phrase used to describe a pen of fancy calves!!!) If a producer does not have enough cattle to make a 50,000 load lot, he is likely to get less for his,whether at the local sale barn or elsewhere.

mrj

Yes, mrj, you made it clear that you were selling feeders, not fat cattle and so I tried to make that clear in my example too but using your name for the example.

I wanted to make that distinction because only the packers are prohibited from actions under the Packers and Stockyards Act, not you selling to a feeder (unless they are the packer too) or any other transactions between producers who are not meat packers. If, for instance, you sell your calves to a guy who finishes them on grass, neither one of you are subject to the PSA (except maybe the payment provisions to prevent someone from buying your cattle and not paying for them as recently happened).

Small meat packers do not have market power to engage in economic market manipulation unless they are cooperating with a large meat packer who is doing it. There was some evidence in the Pickett case that larger meat packers were making some of the smaller guys pay a price for not colluding with them or retaliating against fat sellers.

Again, I wold love SH to get the transcript of the whole Pickett trial released instead of in the hands of a few judges and attorneys. Only an open legal system can be trusted and there is no reason I see why meat packers should resist the attempts to get the transcripts public unless they have something to hide. There is no sensitive data at this time unless they were in fact, hiding collusive activity that a trial uncovered. These are the details that juries see AND the reason I agreed with you that EVERYONE deserves a trial before being convicted.

It is too bad that federal judges will allow livestock to be weighed improperly with NO remedy unless you can prove "harm to competition" under the Packers and Stockyards Act. Members of Congress and especially their leaders are being paid to go with this turn of events that meat packers have convinced federal judges to legislate from the bench to give them---despite the USDA arguing in briefs from both the Bush and Obama administrations that this new interpretation is not what the law said. We have some federal judges playing interference for meat packers. I really believe these are the kind of judges who need to be pulled from the bench. They are supporting the rule of men over the rule of law.

Tex
 

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Mike said:
GIPSA has made it clear that its rules are not intended to “limit or eliminate the ability of companies to provide premiums to reward producers for providing certain quantity or quality of livestock,” McDonnell said. “We will continue to stay engaged to ensure GIPSA stays true to these proposed intentions and to be clear that nothing in these rules will jeopardize a premium-based market.”

The word "quantity" being placed in this statement is sorta scary.

McDonnell is an idiot. He doesn't know what he is talking about. One in his position should know.

GIPSA even put out a statement that refuted many of the outright lies the meat packers and their allies have been spreading (which is what McDonnell is referencing).

There is something about quantity. If one gets a premium for putting together a truckload then that premium should be available for anyone who can put together a truckload.

A group of producers should be able to get together and get the same premium.

I really don't understand why anyone puts up with the kind of things that McDonnell says or has taken as truth by the meat packers. If the DOJ was serious they would get a federal officer to ask him to repeat it so that he could be brought up on charges of lying to a federal officer. I would actually like meat packers to be responsible for the lies they spread. They have just used tactics like this to stall these rules. Some real DOJ competence would sure come in handy. It is too bad that the industry is able to buy almost anyone at the DOJ they need to assure themselves that the DOJ isn't competent enough to hold them accountable.

It is a shame how former DOJ and government officials quit their jobs to work for the ones who they are supposed to be regulating. The industry needs to be taxed to pay for competent regulators. Some of them are downright crooks and usually have a politician behind them playing interference for them.


Tex
 

mrj

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Tex, you obviously have little knowledge of western SD and other very arid places in the west. Cattle born in spring generally go to feedlots in late fall or midwinter. IF we were to choose to grassfeed ours for the final few months of life (with grassfed systems, that would be many more months), there would be NO growing grass in SD. The only grass would be stockpiled standing in pastures, or in bales. Otherwise, they would be full yearlings, or a bit more when starting to be finished on green grass. There are no packers within reasonable hauling distance able to process a truckload lot of cattle.

You totally ignored my point: I don't mind selling cattle to a feeder, and one who can get premiums for my high quality cattle, which he would base on previous performance of my cattle, as that enables him to pay me a premium.

Realizing some fanatics do not believe anyone will pay their supplier of feeder cattle any premium unless government forces them to, many have had a different experience.

It is pretty sad to see how the more fanatic R-CALF types treat their founding father, McDonnell. I do not believe he is an idiot. He was rather misguided in his support of R-CALF, but learned a harsh lesson, it seems.

Re. "if anyonegets a premium for PUTTING TOGETHER a truckload then that premium should be avaliable for anyone who can.....". Yes, IF that truckload is alike in genetics, type, size, etc. as the one owner truckload, and the owners have a history of quality carcass cut out. Have you any evidence that does not happen?
 

Tex

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mrj said:
Tex, you obviously have little knowledge of western SD and other very arid places in the west. Cattle born in spring generally go to feedlots in late fall or midwinter. IF we were to choose to grassfeed ours for the final few months of life (with grassfed systems, that would be many more months), there would be NO growing grass in SD. The only grass would be stockpiled standing in pastures, or in bales. Otherwise, they would be full yearlings, or a bit more when starting to be finished on green grass. There are no packers within reasonable hauling distance able to process a truckload lot of cattle.

You totally ignored my point: I don't mind selling cattle to a feeder, and one who can get premiums for my high quality cattle, which he would base on previous performance of my cattle, as that enables him to pay me a premium.

Realizing some fanatics do not believe anyone will pay their supplier of feeder cattle any premium unless government forces them to, many have had a different experience.

It is pretty sad to see how the more fanatic R-CALF types treat their founding father, McDonnell. I do not believe he is an idiot. He was rather misguided in his support of R-CALF, but learned a harsh lesson, it seems.

Re. "if anyonegets a premium for PUTTING TOGETHER a truckload then that premium should be avaliable for anyone who can.....". Yes, IF that truckload is alike in genetics, type, size, etc. as the one owner truckload, and the owners have a history of quality carcass cut out. Have you any evidence that does not happen?


mrj, I used your name as an example only to show the point. The biggest point for you is that NONE of these rules make any difference to you unless the feeder happens to be a packer also. The PSA prohibits meat packers, not feeders, from actions. I had to "turn you into" selling fat cattle in the example so the laws would apply. I did it with you in () because I knew you were probably NOT selling to meat packers directly from your operation. Most cow/calf people do not. Most feed finishers do.

The reason meat packers are prohibited from certain actions is because of their potential to abuse their market power in the bargaining for slaughter cattle. The law prohibits them from actions known to stem from abuse of market power and thus market manipulation and examples of such were part of the original Packers and Stockyards Act testimony before it was passed. It deals with economic frauds that meat packers used on producers selling to them.

I think all performance based compensation is allowable under any interpretation of the Packers and Stockyards Act----as long as it is tied to the actual value in those animals. The pork and poultry industry have already seen compensation not based on their production, but production factors that may or may not translate to the actual product, and many cases do not. It would be like giving you a premium because you wore a bonnet on your head and not because you had premium cattle. The value transferred has to actually relate to real factors, not just made up ones.

I am happy that you do receive a premium for your animals and I hope that it is truly because you have better animals and not because you wear a bonnet or some other reason. Kudos for you for getting a premium! You can look anyone who says the GIPSA rules will prevent you from getting a justifiable premium in the eye and call them a LIAR.

Yes, this includes many in the NCBA because they have no clue. They have been riled up to support meat packer threats or propaganda. It is what I mentioned in reference to how ill-informed McDonnell was in the quote Mike posted. He should know better than to be a meat packer tool.

Re read the GIPSA rules and tell me if I am wrong on ANY of this.

Tex
 

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Tex, which of those organizations who tried to spy on Beef Checkoff directors in the Federation of Beef Councils are you shilling for?

You assume too much when you claim many in the NCBA "have no clue" re. GIPSA changes! Do you actually know any of the successful cattle ranchers who are members? Or those who are cattle feeders? Then there is the fact that staff and directors of NCBA who are involved in planning conventions find and get the best in the business, whether university people, business people, genuine consumer groups, and many others who are expert in their field related to cattle production as speakers for those meetings. Cattlemens' College has grown to be an invaluable educational tool, too. ]

Though it may seem strange to you and others who insist NCBA is not "run" by cattleproducers, you are wrong. The officers, directors, and members attending conventions understand that the more we can learn about the cattle industry, from our own gate to the consumers plate, the better our ability to succeed in our own business will be.

The success of the organization is, sadly, verified by the fact that some of the 'wannabe's' felt the need to launch a spying system in their attempt to damage NCBA Policy division after they got their fingers burned at least a couple of times when they tried to bring NCBA down by harming the beef checkoff, and failed miserably each time. Hopefully they will fail again.

Whatever their success or failure this time, NCBA Policy division is NOT going away.
 

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mrj said:
Tex, which of those organizations who tried to spy on Beef Checkoff directors in the Federation of Beef Councils are you shilling for?

You assume too much when you claim many in the NCBA "have no clue" re. GIPSA changes! Do you actually know any of the successful cattle ranchers who are members? Or those who are cattle feeders? Then there is the fact that staff and directors of NCBA who are involved in planning conventions find and get the best in the business, whether university people, business people, genuine consumer groups, and many others who are expert in their field related to cattle production as speakers for those meetings. Cattlemens' College has grown to be an invaluable educational tool, too. ]

Though it may seem strange to you and others who insist NCBA is not "run" by cattleproducers, you are wrong. The officers, directors, and members attending conventions understand that the more we can learn about the cattle industry, from our own gate to the consumers plate, the better our ability to succeed in our own business will be.

The success of the organization is, sadly, verified by the fact that some of the 'wannabe's' felt the need to launch a spying system in their attempt to damage NCBA Policy division after they got their fingers burned at least a couple of times when they tried to bring NCBA down by harming the beef checkoff, and failed miserably each time. Hopefully they will fail again.

Whatever their success or failure this time, NCBA Policy division is NOT going away.


mrj, I am not a "schill" for any organization. I read the discussion between the CBB and the NCBA and drew my conclusions from those posted AND I actually read the GIPSA rules AND know a bit about economics, market power, the formulas of pay by meat packers and market summation formulas as well as the cases that GIPSA cited in its rules. I have spoken personally to many in the cases to find out whether or not there was merit in them or lawyers just trying to hustle revenue on wordy technicalities or court decision wording. My grandfather and great grandfather fought hard for Packers and Stockyards Act as well as other members of the family who were in the biz at that time.



I know successful feeders and cow and calf producers, some who are in the NCBA and some who are not. Most do not know the issues in depth and are only informed by stories that have very few facts and mostly industry (packer) spin.

I don't think anyone needs to "spy" on the NCBA---they should be open and transparent. They should state where their statements actually come from when they testify in front of Congress and who made those statements up. I can tell you that in reading their some of their statements, meat packer protection was more paramount than producer protection.

To illustrate the above points, I am going to ask you what I asked Nemrancher: What does the "competitive injury" standard mean to producers and their protections under the Packers and Stockyards Act?

You may be like many others, supporting an organization that is being tricked into supporting policies that do not in any way reflect the interests of producers.

While answering the above question, tell me what the ramifications are to the "competitive harm" theory and what it means in the ability for an individual producer to have his or her livestock or other animals under the act weighed properly and accurately. Tell me what it means for every other rule or regulation under GIPSA jurisdiction.

If you can not answer these questions, or answer them incorrectly, I will assume 1) You are like many I know who don't know the issues in depth and 2) Because you don't know the issues, you end up supporting the interests of meat packers cheating producers over producer's best interests.

Don't worry, I know it is complex so I won't be so hard on you. This is a learning discussion as much as anything. And yes, I did speak personally to an NCBA officer who testified in front of Congress and spoke to him about these issues and he had no idea about them. I think he was a good guy but much like a steer being lead under one of Grandin's well designed systems, oblivious to the slaughter about to happen. Believe me, I know what is at the end.

Tex
 

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Tex, I do not trust anyone who hides behind a little 'name' on a website. You could be a member of any one of those organizations trying to 'kill' NCBA. You could be any manner of anti-corporate activist.

I have never claimed to be 'know it all' re. the subjects upon which you are so eager to 'test' people who disagree with your manipulation conspiracy theories. Many people interpret laws, rules, and regulations differently. Isn't that why your pet "competitive harm theory" is included in those changes to the GIPSA rules, to give those good ol boy plaintiffs attorneys a great retirement fund???

Who are YOU, to proclaim what an officer of NCBA, or anyone else, for that matter, does or does not understand about his personal opinion of what those proposals would mean for the industry??? It will take many court cases to sort all that out, IF we are so unfortunate as to have it become regulation, as proposed.

How can you be certain of the accuracy of your 'sources' of information about the disputed exchanges between some CBB directors and NCBA? Who is the author of the website materials at www.beefcheckoff.com blog that you trust that material so much? Yes, much of it is valid, but there is subtle spin there, too, ALL twisted in the direction taken by many of the groups talking against NCBA.

BTW, NCBA actions re. the checkoff projects ARE transparent. There actions re. the Policy division have no reason to be aired before people not members. NCBA was the group insistent upon directors of CBB representing ALL cattle producers, not just their own organization when making decisions for the Beef Checkoff. It is members of groups OtTHER than NCBA who did the surreptitious spying, in attempts to harm NCBA. THAT is NOT part of their job of managing the Beef Checkoff!

mrj
 

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mrj said:
Tex, I do not trust anyone who hides behind a little 'name' on a website. You could be a member of any one of those organizations trying to 'kill' NCBA. You could be any manner of anti-corporate activist.

I have never claimed to be 'know it all' re. the subjects upon which you are so eager to 'test' people who disagree with your manipulation conspiracy theories. Many people interpret laws, rules, and regulations differently. Isn't that why your pet "competitive harm theory" is included in those changes to the GIPSA rules, to give those good ol boy plaintiffs attorneys a great retirement fund???

Who are YOU, to proclaim what an officer of NCBA, or anyone else, for that matter, does or does not understand about his personal opinion of what those proposals would mean for the industry??? It will take many court cases to sort all that out, IF we are so unfortunate as to have it become regulation, as proposed.

How can you be certain of the accuracy of your 'sources' of information about the disputed exchanges between some CBB directors and NCBA? Who is the author of the website materials at www.beefcheckoff.com blog that you trust that material so much? Yes, much of it is valid, but there is subtle spin there, too, ALL twisted in the direction taken by many of the groups talking against NCBA.

BTW, NCBA actions re. the checkoff projects ARE transparent. There actions re. the Policy division have no reason to be aired before people not members. NCBA was the group insistent upon directors of CBB representing ALL cattle producers, not just their own organization when making decisions for the Beef Checkoff. It is members of groups OtTHER than NCBA who did the surreptitious spying, in attempts to harm NCBA. THAT is NOT part of their job of managing the Beef Checkoff!

mrj

So you do not understand the "competitive harm" controversy, do you?

I will post some articles on it for you.

I don't wish any ill will on NCBA. I wish they hadn't made many of their policy decisions that split many groups from them. They predominantly support meat packers over cattle producers in their policy and no, I don't think they should masquerade as a producer group. They are a producer AND meat packer group--- and meat packers who want water down the law that regulates them from cheating producers.

I am sorry you are so married to the name NCBA that you don't understand this.

I do think that ALL of the connections that make the NCBA support meat packer interests in front of Congress needs to be investigated and dealt with by NCBA members themselves.

Tex
 

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Poor Tex, I'm sorry that you do not understand that I, along with NCBA cattle producer members, all have a mind of our own. We are not followers.

Because you disagree with policies MEMBERS of NCBA support, in fact originate, you refuse to believe we are not led by packers.

That says something about where you get YOUR direction!

I DO understand that improving our cattle and getting the benefit of doing that via either our own, or others selling on grid, in 'branded' systems, or other similar marketing plans is in great danger if the proposed rules are implemented.

Those rules are supported by people who want the higher prices without the work others have done.

Not that I do not understand the processes, but I do not play your games.

I'm not one who has to have someone to blame for my family's management or marketing decisions if things don't go as we intend.

mrj
 

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mrj said:
Poor Tex, I'm sorry that you do not understand that I, along with NCBA cattle producer members, all have a mind of our own. We are not followers.

Because you disagree with policies MEMBERS of NCBA support, in fact originate, you refuse to believe we are not led by packers.

That says something about where you get YOUR direction!

I DO understand that improving our cattle and getting the benefit of doing that via either our own, or others selling on grid, in 'branded' systems, or other similar marketing plans is in great danger if the proposed rules are implemented.

Those rules are supported by people who want the higher prices without the work others have done.

Not that I do not understand the processes, but I do not play your games.

I'm not one who has to have someone to blame for my family's management or marketing decisions if things don't go as we intend.

mrj

It is obvious to me, mrj, that you do not understand the issues in depth and continue to misrepresent them.

I have given you the tools and the direction to get to the real issues and you have proven that you can not or will not.

This isn't about some stupid fight between rcalf, CBB, NCBA or other groups. It is about the actual facts that they are talking about. You have shown the competency of NCBA leadership when it comes to the facts which I alleged was low to nonexistent.

They and yourself are either incompetent on the actual issues or you are competent and you are really helping meat packers consolidate the industry.

I put you in the former by your own actions.

I will give you an analogy here. I have a lot of respect for many, many people who are in the Catholic Church. I believe they are upstanding Christians and follow the main and most important constructs of Christianity. Many have dedicated their lives to being a Christ follower.

I am not Catholic however, because I believe that Christ is the intercessor for mankind, not the Pope, however good he may be. If the Catholic Church structure, in its human failings, allows priests to molest boys, I think that is a failing of the Catholic Church and it shows the fallacy of following humans over Christ.

The first main schism over the church was over idols which illustrated the same point. Mankind has a tendency to believe in something that they can comprehend with their senses, including an image of God. This tendency was dealt with in one of the ten commandments.

I believe your unfailing support of NCBA regardless of the actual issues (similar to the molestation of boys here by the priests) means that are incompetent on this issue and will go with the image or the substitute for the real thing.

I am all too willing for you and the leaders of the NCBA to open their eyes to the molestation taking place in the industry in the cases cited, but I do hold them and you accountable for protecting that molestation until you do.

It is up to the members of the NCBA to actually represent the interests of producers, especially if they are taking checkoff money to do it, not to hide the molestation that is going on towards family farmers in the meats industry by meat packers.



Let us face it, mrj, you and the leaders of the NCBA have failed to look into the allegations of molestation and instead have msicharacterized the actual facts in support of meat packers molesting family farmers. For this you deserve the same accountability of the priests who were hiding the molestation of the little boys. You must be competent enough to see these issues instead of being a blind support of the NCBA or the Catholic Church. Put principles ahead of principals.

Tex
 

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Tex, that is a particularly sick twist you take in equating meat packers with deviant priests AND that packers are sexual deviants molesting grown men and women marketing cattle. You have reached a new low for this website.

Adults failing to succeed up to their wishes in marketing cattle to packers, IF proven still is far different than children being sexually molested, and it is grotesque that someone would come up with your scenario.

Why don't YOU, since you present yourself as so well informed on what you see as injustice, take your evidence to some fine plaintiffs' attorney. If there is actionable material there, there SURELY are some who would go after the deep pockets some believe packers have.

mrj
 

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