Overview of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

Rincker Law Food & Ag Law Leave a Comment

I’m currently conducting a blog series where each week I give a brief overview of the responsibilities of a government agency regulating our food and agriculture system.  I think it’s a helpful reminder for everyone on just how complex our regulatory system really is.  It’s a game of Who’s Who for government players in the U.S. food and agriculture economy.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (“GIPSA”) reports to the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.  GIPSA regulates the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds and related agricultural products by promoting fair and competitive trading practices and prevent antitrust for the overall benefit of consumers.

It administers two main programs:

Agency Packers and Stockyards Program (“P&SP”) –This program regulates fair trading practices for meat animals and its products under the Packers and Stockyards Act (“PSA”).  The PSA regulates stockyard owners, market agencies, dealers, packers, swine contractor, and live poultry dealers.

Federal Grain Inspection Service (“FGIS”)– This program regulates the marketing of grain and related agriculture products under the Agriculture Marketing Act (“AMA”) and United States Grain Standards Act (“USGSA”).

Its Business and Economic Analysis Division (“BEAD”) is headquartered in Washington D.C.   It has several roles, among them, conducting industry economic and risk assessment analyses; examining competitive implications of concentration, integration in the meat animal industries; and providing technical support for meat animal industry surveillance.   Additionally, GIPSA has regional field offices in Atlanta, Denver, and Des Moines.

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