After one year, 60,000 comments and reams of press releases later, a rule that would put common sense rules back into the livestock market place still has not been finalized and implemented. NFU members are urged to call the White House this week to ask the Obama Administration implement these rules now.

On June 22, 2010, a rule by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (or GIPSA, for short) was published. Just like most any other federal regulation, citizens and organizations were asked to provide comments on the rule. NFU’s input was among the tens of thousands of comments received by USDA.

The comment period ended in November 2010, but the rule has still not been put into effect. Reviewing the equivalent of one comment for every citizen of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, can’t be an easy task, so it’s understandable that time is needed to process and consider all of the recommendations.

However, it might also be the result of some heel-dragging by packers and processors, who have tried to drag out the process at every turn. First, they demanded that the comment period be extended by 90 days. Next, they funded deceptive economic studies – which were debunked by NFU – that tried to paint the common sense GIPSA rule in a bad light and demanded that USDA conduct yet another time consuming economic analysis.

Finally, the packers and processors had the House of Representatives pass an appropriations bill that included language that would prevent any funds from being used to complete and implement the GIPSA rule. They did so even though the two largest general farm organizations in the country and dozens other groups opposed such a move. Perhaps some significant campaign contributions had something to do with this.

Despite all of the setbacks and delays, NFU members can still ask the Obama Administration, which has been very helpful for family farmers and ranchers over the last two years, to stand up once more for rural America and implement the GIPSA rule.

Follow this link to learn how to call the White House today.


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