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What R-CALF does instead of paying 20 professional lobbyists

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ocm

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Dozens of Cattle Producers Participate in Historic Washington Stampede

(Billings, Mont.) – Scores of independent U.S. cattle producers from 22 states traveled to the nation’s capitol last week to participate in R-CALF USA’s Washington Stampede, a two-day outreach effort on Capitol Hill in which members advanced several issues important to both the domestic cattle industry and Rural America. Members discussed those topics with numerous Administration officials, more than 100 legislators, staff and others.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns met with several R-CALF USA members, staff and leaders, as did several other U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials whose duties impact domestic cattle operations – namely USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the agency’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), as well as USDA’s Animal ID and Beef Checkoff Coordinators. R-CALF USA representatives also spent time with the administrator of USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), the chief agriculture negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR’s) office, and highly placed officials in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

One item Stampede participants impressed upon Congress and the Administration is the need to quickly implement Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (M-COOL) for beef and other commodities.

“USDA has come a long way in making seafood labeling workable for the wholesalers and retailers,” said R-CALF USA COOL Committee Chair Danni Beer, a South Dakota rancher. “Now, we need the same cooperation from USDA for the largest segment of agriculture – the cattle industry – to differentiate our product here in the United States.

“COOL is a simple, low-cost law that even the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted would cost ranchers very little if implemented correctly,” she commented.

International trade was another priority topic members addressed during the Washington Stampede, and R-CALF USA pointed out that the U.S. needs to rethink its trade policies so U.S. ranchers can start to benefit from free trade agreements (FTAs).

“Historically, the U.S. has been a global leader in agricultural trade, but we went from a $20 billion trade surplus a few years ago to a trade deficit of nearly $4.5 billion today – and $3.5 billion of that drop is from cattle and beef,” outlined R-CALF USA Region VII Director and Iowa Membership Chair Eric Nelson. “”We need to catch up to the global changes and rethink our trade policy to make U.S. cattle producers the winners.”

Competition, captive supply and other market concerns were also hot topics, according to R-CALF USA Marketing Committee Chair Randy Stevenson, of Wheatland, Wyo.

“Much was discussed on competition in light of USDA’s recent Inspector General report that criticized the agency’s handling of Packers and Stockyards Act obligations,” said Stevenson. “Also on the table was the amicus brief filed recently by R-CALF and 35 other cattle-producer organizations in support of the plaintiffs in the Pickett vs. Tyson case. We also talked about the recent collapse of the cattle market during high-demand times, and the continuing concentration of the U.S. packing industry.”

R-CALF USA President and Region V Director Chuck Kiker, of Beaumont, Texas, spoke with several folks on the Hill about reopening the United States’ Asian and Japanese beef export markets.

“Our greatest concern is being realized at this very moment, and that is policy by some groups that says you have to ‘give access to gain access’ – something the rest of the world is not following, and it’s turning the U.S. into a dumping ground for products other countries have banned,” he said. “Either we start getting trade policies harmonized, or U.S. cattle producers are headed for some tough times with the trade liberalizations being pursued in trade agreements today.”

The subject of government and other industry groups adopting obstructionist policies also came up for discussion several times, according to R-CALF USA International Trade Committee Chair Doug Zalesky, of Hesperus, Colo.

“We stressed that these kinds of actions by both the government and other industry groups prohibit the U.S. beef industry from meeting requests by our Japanese customers, and it’s costing the U.S. cattle industry billions of dollars,” said Zalesky. “The customer is king, and at the time Japan requested their imported beef to be tested for BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), Japan itself was testing all of their cattle for the disease.

“I think even here in the U.S. we expect imported product to come in under the same production standards we operate under, so the Japanese had a reasonable request,” he said.

North Dakota veterinarian Richard Bowman chairs R-CALF USA’s Animal ID Committee, and noted that USDA’s proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS) continues to be at the top of everyone’s mind.

“The NAIS needs to be flexible and should be done in cooperation with state animal-health departments around the country, which would ensure cooperation for Animal ID without the government having to mandate a program,” Bowman emphasized.

“It’s great that so many R-CALF members could take the time to come to D.C. and sit down with our elected officials to explain our concerns and things we can do to create more opportunities within the U.S. cattle industry,” said R-CALF USA Mississippi Membership Chair Joel Gill.
 

ocm

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One major difference between this event and others in the past is that the people in DC warmly welcomed and actually listened to R-CALF members who made the trip.

In more than one instance members of Congress or aides or whoever they were meeting with started out meetings with a cold attitude, but warmed up as they discovered that these people were intelligent constituents who represented the mainstream.

A small group even met with Johanns. It is reported to have been an excellent meeting.
 

Bill

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ocm said:
One major difference between this event and others in the past is that the people in DC warmly welcomed and actually listened to R-CALF members who made the trip.

In more than one instance members of Congress or aides or whoever they were meeting with started out meetings with a cold attitude, but warmed up as they discovered that these people were intelligent constituents who represented the mainstream.

A small group even met with Johanns. It is reported to have been an excellent meeting.
Who reported that or is it another biased Billings press release. :roll: :lol: :lol:
 
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Anonymous

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It's the same old bullsh*t from the same old blamers.

All foam and no beer.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, FORCE PACKERS TO LABEL 5% OF OUR BEEF AS IMPORTED WITHOUT BURDENING US WITH A TRACEBACK SYSTEM TO ENFORCE IT.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, IF GIPSA CAN'T FIND ACTUAL PSA VIOLATIONS, YOU NEED TO COME UP WITH SOME TO JUSTIFY OUR EXISTANCE.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, THE CATTLE FEEDERS DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING, ALLOW US TO HELP YOU SAVE CATTLE FEEDERS FROM THEIR OWN CATTLE PRICING MECHANISMS.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, WE WANT YOU TO BELIEVE THAT OUR TRADE IS UNFAIR BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT'S UNFAIR. DON'T ASK US FOR PROOF.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, DON'T MAKE US ID OUR CATTLE EVEN THOUGH WE WERE THE HYPOCRITES THAT SAID CONSUMERS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHERE THEIR BEEF COMES FROM.

Blah, blah, blah! Same empty arguments, different day!



~SH~
 

Sandhusker

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~SH~ said:
It's the same old bullsh*t from the same old blamers.

All foam and no beer.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, FORCE PACKERS TO LABEL 5% OF OUR BEEF AS IMPORTED WITHOUT BURDENING US WITH A TRACEBACK SYSTEM TO ENFORCE IT.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, IF GIPSA CAN'T FIND ACTUAL PSA VIOLATIONS, YOU NEED TO COME UP WITH SOME TO JUSTIFY OUR EXISTANCE.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, THE CATTLE FEEDERS DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING, ALLOW US TO HELP YOU SAVE CATTLE FEEDERS FROM THEIR OWN CATTLE PRICING MECHANISMS.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, WE WANT YOU TO BELIEVE THAT OUR TRADE IS UNFAIR BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT'S UNFAIR. DON'T ASK US FOR PROOF.

PLEASE GOVERNMENT, DON'T MAKE US ID OUR CATTLE EVEN THOUGH WE WERE THE HYPOCRITES THAT SAID CONSUMERS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHERE THEIR BEEF COMES FROM.

Blah, blah, blah! Same empty arguments, different day!



~SH~

Isn't there a cub scout jamboree someplace where you can go and mix with your peers?
 

ocm

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Bill said:
ocm said:
ocm wrote:
One major difference between this event and others in the past is that the people in DC warmly welcomed and actually listened to R-CALF members who made the trip.

In more than one instance members of Congress or aides or whoever they were meeting with started out meetings with a cold attitude, but warmed up as they discovered that these people were intelligent constituents who represented the mainstream.

A small group even met with Johanns. It is reported to have been an excellent meeting.
Who reported that or is it another biased Billings press release. Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing

I talked to people who were there.
 

Tam

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Bill said:
ocm said:
One major difference between this event and others in the past is that the people in DC warmly welcomed and actually listened to R-CALF members who made the trip.

In more than one instance members of Congress or aides or whoever they were meeting with started out meetings with a cold attitude, but warmed up as they discovered that these people were intelligent constituents who represented the mainstream.

A small group even met with Johanns. It is reported to have been an excellent meeting.
Who reported that or is it another biased Billings press release. :roll: :lol: :lol:

Bingo Bill you win the prize the first post is taken right off the R-CALF web site minis the little R-CALF blurb at the bottom
 

Bill

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ocm said:
Bill said:
ocm said:
ocm wrote:
One major difference between this event and others in the past is that the people in DC warmly welcomed and actually listened to R-CALF members who made the trip.

In more than one instance members of Congress or aides or whoever they were meeting with started out meetings with a cold attitude, but warmed up as they discovered that these people were intelligent constituents who represented the mainstream.

A small group even met with Johanns. It is reported to have been an excellent meeting.
Who reported that or is it another biased Billings press release. Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing

I talked to people who were there.
Do you write the R-Calf press releases too ocm? Were there even any reporters covering this HISTORIC Sampede on Washington?

I do like the headline though- HISTORIC Washington STAMPEDE!:oops: :roll: :lol:
 

Econ101

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Bill said:
ocm said:
Bill said:
Who reported that or is it another biased Billings press release. Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing

I talked to people who were there.
Do you write the R-Calf press releases too ocm? Were there even any reporters covering this HISTORIC Sampede on Washington?

I do like the headline though- HISTORIC Washington STAMPEDE!:oops: :roll: :lol:

Maybe Bill, you would like to do your own stampede in Canada to your equivilant and report on it? There are a lot of questions about the Alberta Packer report.
 

ocm

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Bill said:
ocm said:
Bill said:
Who reported that or is it another biased Billings press release. Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing

I talked to people who were there.
Do you write the R-Calf press releases too ocm? Were there even any reporters covering this HISTORIC Sampede on Washington?

I do like the headline though- HISTORIC Washington STAMPEDE!:oops: :roll: :lol:

The first post IS an R-CALF press release. The second is my own words. I have been known to help with some R-CALF press releases, though not very often.

Historic. A flowery word, but they had more this time than ever before. I believe it was 70 people, most of whom paid their own way. The attitude shift with the people they met in DC was quite different, too. I would guess that qualifies as historic.
 

mrj

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ocm, for the record, From the early '80's and continuing later this spring,I and other family members have been part of NCA, later NCBA, and state affiliate cattle producers attending spring Board meetings in Washington, DC. From one hundred (during one of the worst blizzards on record) to several hundred have attended most years, most on their own money except for those fortunate enough to have state affiliates able to help pay expenses of officers.

I'm sorry your group has had different experiences in the past, but all our NCA/NCBA delegations have been very warmly received. That happens when prople and Congressmen and staff with an attitude of mutual respect meet to discuss solutiions to problems of our cattle industry. Not so long ago, the past NCBA pres. was a guest of President Bush, making him late in attending the Nebrasaka Cattlemens' meeting we attended. Sec. Johanns delivered a fine talk at the recent NCBA annual meeting. And he was warmly received by a group of a few thousand cattle producer convention attendees.

MRJ
 

ocm

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MRJ said:
ocm, for the record, From the early '80's and continuing later this spring,I and other family members have been part of NCA, later NCBA, and state affiliate cattle producers attending spring Board meetings in Washington, DC. From one hundred (during one of the worst blizzards on record) to several hundred have attended most years, most on their own money except for those fortunate enough to have state affiliates able to help pay expenses of officers.

I'm sorry your group has had different experiences in the past, but all our NCA/NCBA delegations have been very warmly received. That happens when prople and Congressmen and staff with an attitude of mutual respect meet to discuss solutiions to problems of our cattle industry. Not so long ago, the past NCBA pres. was a guest of President Bush, making him late in attending the Nebrasaka Cattlemens' meeting we attended. Sec. Johanns delivered a fine talk at the recent NCBA annual meeting. And he was warmly received by a group of a few thousand cattle producer convention attendees.

MRJ

OK, so what's your point. This "stampede" was not a meeting in DC. It was solely for the purpose of talking to representatives and bureaucrats there. And the warming up has been as a direct result of those people finding out that R-CALF has been misrepresented to them. They have had the wrong impression of the group. It is much easier for a group with a long history to get meetings with important officials. But for an "upstart" to do it means progress is being made.

You might find it interesting that Bill Hawks attended the R-CALF convention. In fact he spoke. I think he was soliciting R-CALF's business.

Perhaps NCBA ought to hear the same message that was given to Johanns. If everything is alright, then how do you explain R-CALF's (and ICON's) explosive growth?

R-CALF is cultivating a good relationship with the CBB, with the people at NAIS, with individuals in the DOJ, and many others. In many instances these people shared R-CALF's concerns even before R-CALF met with them. Many have expressed enthusiastic agreement with R-CALF positions, and on positions where they differ with NCBA.
 

mrj

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ocm said:
MRJ said:
ocm, for the record, From the early '80's and continuing later this spring,I and other family members have been part of NCA, later NCBA, and state affiliate cattle producers attending spring Board meetings in Washington, DC. From one hundred (during one of the worst blizzards on record) to several hundred have attended most years, most on their own money except for those fortunate enough to have state affiliates able to help pay expenses of officers.

I'm sorry your group has had different experiences in the past, but all our NCA/NCBA delegations have been very warmly received. That happens when prople and Congressmen and staff with an attitude of mutual respect meet to discuss solutiions to problems of our cattle industry. Not so long ago, the past NCBA pres. was a guest of President Bush, making him late in attending the Nebrasaka Cattlemens' meeting we attended. Sec. Johanns delivered a fine talk at the recent NCBA annual meeting. And he was warmly received by a group of a few thousand cattle producer convention attendees.

MRJ

OK, so what's your point. This "stampede" was not a meeting in DC. It was solely for the purpose of talking to representatives and bureaucrats there. And the warming up has been as a direct result of those people finding out that R-CALF has been misrepresented to them. They have had the wrong impression of the group. It is much easier for a group with a long history to get meetings with important officials. But for an "upstart" to do it means progress is being made.

You might find it interesting that Bill Hawks attended the R-CALF convention. In fact he spoke. I think he was soliciting R-CALF's business.

Perhaps NCBA ought to hear the same message that was given to Johanns. If everything is alright, then how do you explain R-CALF's (and ICON's) explosive growth?

R-CALF is cultivating a good relationship with the CBB, with the people at NAIS, with individuals in the DOJ, and many others. In many instances these people shared R-CALF's concerns even before R-CALF met with them. Many have expressed enthusiastic agreement with R-CALF positions, and on positions where they differ with NCBA.

ocm, the NCBA spring board meeting is held in Washington ONLY because we need to interact with the law makers and departments affecting the cattle industry.

Why do you assume NCBA tells Johanns that everything is alright? Besides hearing it from leaders of NCBA, I have also seen in a few media stories that NCBA questions USDA and demands action on problems. The difference is that NCBA is not constantly on the attack. While attacking USDA and charging them with all manner of crimes including being run by packers for their own benefit may not be official action or position of R-CALF, it definitely is R-CALF promoters and members doing so.

I do not believe the CBB ever had an adversarial attitude toward R-CALF per se. However, some of your allies and promoters did attack CBB and try to stop the Beef checkoff, did they not?

I would explain R-calfs birth and growth the same way. People who wanted to attack NCBA membership division carefully cultivated grass roots ranchers who did not pay much attention to organizations or matters beyond their own communities with absolute lies about NCBA and the Beef Checkoff. Those attacks continue to this day by several SD auction market owners spewing that hate on their radio market reports and from the auction block. The claims of R-CALF being the ONLY organization repsenting ONLY the cow-calf man resonate with some, but is a foolish and false premise. Cattle producers and feeders are in this business together. Packers and retailers and those in between are NOT represented by NCBA. Ranchers who scorn the other segments of the industry and blame them and crucify them for the ills of cattle producers in the market place do themselves no favors. Working together as equals to improve the industry for all participants serves the cow-calf man better than the other alternative.

BTW, NCBA has a staff of 20 in Washington. Five are paid lobbyists. Some staff work with regulatory and environmental agencies and are paid by NCBA members. Their work benefits ALL cattle producers, including R-CALF and others who are not NCBA members are getting a free ride.

It would be at least as accurate as this thread title to answer the query of that title by saying "What R-CALF does instead of paying the (purely mythical) 20 lobbyists, is hire a fleet of lawyers to file lawsuits they can't possibly win and which put NO money into cattlemens' pockets".

MRJ
 

ocm

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MRJ said:
ocm said:
MRJ said:
ocm, for the record, From the early '80's and continuing later this spring,I and other family members have been part of NCA, later NCBA, and state affiliate cattle producers attending spring Board meetings in Washington, DC. From one hundred (during one of the worst blizzards on record) to several hundred have attended most years, most on their own money except for those fortunate enough to have state affiliates able to help pay expenses of officers.

I'm sorry your group has had different experiences in the past, but all our NCA/NCBA delegations have been very warmly received. That happens when prople and Congressmen and staff with an attitude of mutual respect meet to discuss solutiions to problems of our cattle industry. Not so long ago, the past NCBA pres. was a guest of President Bush, making him late in attending the Nebrasaka Cattlemens' meeting we attended. Sec. Johanns delivered a fine talk at the recent NCBA annual meeting. And he was warmly received by a group of a few thousand cattle producer convention attendees.

MRJ

OK, so what's your point. This "stampede" was not a meeting in DC. It was solely for the purpose of talking to representatives and bureaucrats there. And the warming up has been as a direct result of those people finding out that R-CALF has been misrepresented to them. They have had the wrong impression of the group. It is much easier for a group with a long history to get meetings with important officials. But for an "upstart" to do it means progress is being made.

You might find it interesting that Bill Hawks attended the R-CALF convention. In fact he spoke. I think he was soliciting R-CALF's business.

Perhaps NCBA ought to hear the same message that was given to Johanns. If everything is alright, then how do you explain R-CALF's (and ICON's) explosive growth?

R-CALF is cultivating a good relationship with the CBB, with the people at NAIS, with individuals in the DOJ, and many others. In many instances these people shared R-CALF's concerns even before R-CALF met with them. Many have expressed enthusiastic agreement with R-CALF positions, and on positions where they differ with NCBA.

ocm, the NCBA spring board meeting is held in Washington ONLY because we need to interact with the law makers and departments affecting the cattle industry.

Why do you assume NCBA tells Johanns that everything is alright? Besides hearing it from leaders of NCBA, I have also seen in a few media stories that NCBA questions USDA and demands action on problems. The difference is that NCBA is not constantly on the attack. While attacking USDA and charging them with all manner of crimes including being run by packers for their own benefit may not be official action or position of R-CALF, it definitely is R-CALF promoters and members doing so.

I do not believe the CBB ever had an adversarial attitude toward R-CALF per se. However, some of your allies and promoters did attack CBB and try to stop the Beef checkoff, did they not?

I would explain R-calfs birth and growth the same way. People who wanted to attack NCBA membership division carefully cultivated grass roots ranchers who did not pay much attention to organizations or matters beyond their own communities with absolute lies about NCBA and the Beef Checkoff. Those attacks continue to this day by several SD auction market owners spewing that hate on their radio market reports and from the auction block. The claims of R-CALF being the ONLY organization repsenting ONLY the cow-calf man resonate with some, but is a foolish and false premise. Cattle producers and feeders are in this business together. Packers and retailers and those in between are NOT represented by NCBA. Ranchers who scorn the other segments of the industry and blame them and crucify them for the ills of cattle producers in the market place do themselves no favors. Working together as equals to improve the industry for all participants serves the cow-calf man better than the other alternative.

BTW, NCBA has a staff of 20 in Washington. Five are paid lobbyists. Some staff work with regulatory and environmental agencies and are paid by NCBA members. Their work benefits ALL cattle producers, including R-CALF and others who are not NCBA members are getting a free ride.

It would be at least as accurate as this thread title to answer the query of that title by saying "What R-CALF does instead of paying the (purely mythical) 20 lobbyists, is hire a fleet of lawyers to file lawsuits they can't possibly win and which put NO money into cattlemens' pockets".

MRJ

Why has NCBA been totally silent on the OIG report that was so critical of GIPSA? Do they think things are alright?
 

Econ101

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MRJ, there might be some good things about NCBA but their silence on the uncovering of regulatory fraud is not a good one. Do you support this position in your blind support of NCBA?
 
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NCBA should enquire about the OIG report and see just how much truth there is in it and what violations have occurred that were not reprimended. One might start with investigating practices within the STOCKYARDS like rafterbids. Talk about market manipulation.

NCBA would at least be objective enough to hear both sides of the argument rather than taking a OIG report, sinking their packer blaming teeth into it because that's what they wanted to hear, and running with it as if it was gospel truth like the mindless packer blamers do.



~SH~
 
A

Anonymous

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OCM: "And the warming up has been as a direct result of those people finding out that R-CALF has been misrepresented to them. They have had the wrong impression of the group."

If they review any of R-CALF's court cases, they will quickly figure them out.

Pretty hard to have much of an impact when R-CALF can't even win a court case.


~SH~
 

Sandhusker

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~SH~ said:
NCBA should enquire about the OIG report and see just how much truth there is in it and what violations have occurred that were not reprimended. One might start with investigating practices within the STOCKYARDS like rafterbids. Talk about market manipulation.

NCBA would at least be objective enough to hear both sides of the argument rather than taking a OIG report, sinking their packer blaming teeth into it because that's what they wanted to hear, and running with it as if it was gospel truth like the mindless packer blamers do.



~SH~

Should, could, would - but what are they doing, SH?
 

Econ101

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I was told by one official that GIPSA's job is to make sure people got paid after the sale. Seems like someone is selling the idea that GIPSA is just a 50 million dollar collection agency.
 

ocm

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Econ101 said:
I was told by one official that GIPSA's job is to make sure people got paid after the sale. Seems like someone is selling the idea that GIPSA is just a 50 million dollar collection agency.

That sounds consistent with this article.


Business as Usual at GIPSA
February 23, 2006

In a private meeting the Administrator of GIPSA, James Link, said that he did not feel that the public wanted GIPSA to be a policeman. Link heads the agency recently disgraced by the resignation of Deputy Administrator JoAnn Waterfield under whose auspices the Packers & Stockyards division pretended to investigate complaints and logged normal activities such as letter writing as an investigation in order to keep up the appearance that GIPSA was doing its job. The USDA's Office of Inspector General uncovered the malfeasance.

Link's statement shows us that the only thing that has changed at GIPSA is a little bit of cosmetics. At the same meeting, Link also confirmed that he would not ask the plaintiffs in Pickett v. Tyson for the massive amount of data they collected for the trial in order for GIPSA to do an investigation of its own. GIPSA has not ever looked at the database of over a million transactions collected by Pickett. If Link has his way, they never will. It seems that he wishes to remain willingly ignorant.

In September 2000, the GAO issued a report on the activities of GIPSA and made some recommendations for change. In that report the GAO said, "USDA has authority under the Packers and Stockyards Act, which has been delegated to GIPSA, to initiate administrative actions to halt unfair and anticompetitive practices by packers in livestock marketing and meatpacking."

The OIG report in January of this year criticized GIPSA for not implementing recommendations from previous reports including the GAO report of 2000. We now know that Mr. Link will continue to disregard the GAO's recommendations. When judges don’t do the job they are supposed to, we get upset. We have the same attitude toward members of the Executive Branch who refuse to do theirs. Swift and aggressive Congressional action is called for.

http://www.thestevensonreport.com/
 

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