Run to Support Independent Livestock Producers: Call MO Senators TODAY–Tell Them To Support Senator Grassley’s Bill to Ban Packers Owning Livestock

Want to help curb corporate control of agriculture?–Of course you do! and it only takes a few seconds of your time.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) recently introduced a bill that bans meatpackers from being able to own livestock more than 7 days prior to slaughter. And, corporate ag HATES IT.

Packers owning their own livestock enables them to drive down the prices they pay to independent livestock producers, taking money out of farm families pockets and hurting rural economies.

The result of packers using their own livestock to manipulate prices: declining prices paid to independent family farms, less economic vitality in our rural communities and ultimately less family farm livestock producers.

Call Your Missouri Senators TODAY
Tell them to support Missouri’s independent livestock producers &
Support Senator Grassley’s Packer Ban Bill (S.2911)!

Senator Claire McCaskill: (202) 224-6154  Email Senator McCaskill HERE
Senator Roy Blunt: (202) 224-5721  Email Senator Blunt HERE

Below is Senator Grassley’s Press Statement about his bill to Ban Packers from Owning Livestock:

Grassley Presses for Ban on Packer Ownership of Livestock

May 11, 2016

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley has introduced legislation to ban packer ownership of livestock after seeing continued consolidation within the livestock industry.
 
“An effective and efficient marketplace is one where packers that control all harvest capacity of the industry do not also own a majority of the animals to be processed,” Grassley said.  “The fact of the matter is that the market continues to become less competitive.  It’s time to see if ending packer ownership of livestock will reverse that trend.”
 
Over the last several years, we’ve seen large companies joining forces to create new business giants in every sector of the economy, including agriculture.  Tyson has purchased Hillshire Brands and JBS purchased Cargill pork.  Smithfield, by far the largest pork producer in the world, was sold to the Chinese.  And, in the beef industry, packing plants have closed in West Texas and Denison, Iowa which further concentrated power in that industry.  
            
This means independent producers are seeing fewer choices of who to buy from and who to sell to.  More and more family farmers and independent producers are feeling the pressure and impact of concentration in agriculture.
Grassley’s bill contains four exceptions to the ban for:

  1. an arrangement entered into within seven days (excluding any Saturday or Sunday) before slaughter of the livestock by a packer, a person acting through the packer, or a person that directly or indirectly controls, or is controlled by or under common control with, the packer;
  2. a cooperative or entity owned by a cooperative, if a majority of the ownership interest in the cooperative is held by active cooperative members that own, feed, or control livestock; and provide the livestock to the cooperative for slaughter;
  3. a packer that is not subject to mandatory price reporting laws; or
  4. a packer that owns one livestock processing plant.

Grassley introduced similar versions of the packer ban in previous Congresses.  He has a long-standing concerns about concentration in agriculture and the impact on the family farmer.