National Agriculture Law Center’s GIPSA Workshop

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The final National Agriculture Law Center‘s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (“GIPSA”) workshop on the proposed rules will be tonight in Poteau, Oklahoma, at the LeFlore County Fairgrounds from 6-9pm.  For those of you who cannot make it (like myself), I highly recommend reviewing the GIPSA handout and powerpoint presentation.  Both give an excellent overview the statutory authority (including the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 and the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the “Farm Bill”)), the role of administrative agencies, the notice and comment rulemaking process, and the GIPSA proposed rules.  Those of you who are involved in the livestock business are encouraged leave a public comment with GIPSA before November 22, 2010. 

To say the least, GIPSA has been a contentious topic in the livestock industry over the last few months.  There was a packed house in Omaha a few weeks ago at the GIPSA break-out session that I sadly missed since I was attending the workshop on solar and wind leases.  I understand that most of the agriculture commodity groups are vehemently against the GIPSA proposed rules and have encouraged its members to leave public comments accordingly.  However, I would like to encourage everyone who will be potentially impacted by these changes to really evaluate the pros and cons of the proposed rules.  The GIPSA handout provided links to additional informational resources on the proposed rules including:

1.  Agriculture Policy Analysis Center;

2. AgWired;

3.  American Meat Institute (“AMI”);

4.  BEEF Magazine;

5.  Cattle Network;

6.  Choices Magazine;

7.  Dakota Rural Action;

8.  Farm and Dairy;

9.  Food and Water Watch;

10.  National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (“NCBA”);

11. National Chicken Council (“NCC”);

12.  National Farmers Union (“NFU”);

13.  National Hog Farmer;

14.  National Livestock Producers Association (“NLPA”);

15.  National Pork Producers Council (“NPPC”) (I just subscribed to its blog “Hogs on the Hill” where I found some posts on GIPSA as well);

16.  Pork Magazine;

17.  Progressive Farmer;

18.  R-Calf USA;

19.  RAFI-USA;

20.  Western Organization of Resource Councils; and,

21.  (of course) USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

After weighing both sides of the argument, those of you who are affected by the proposed rules are encouraged to leave a public comment (which may be anonymous if you choose).  It is really important for folks to get involved in the democratic process.

You can follow the National Agriculture Law Center on Twitter (@NatAgLaw) or subscribe to its Agriculture and Food Law Blog.  Like I said in a previous post, the National Agriculture Law Center’s Reading Rooms have a wealth of information on nearly every area of agriculture law.

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