Meatingplace | Farm group sues USDA for withdrawal of GIPSA rule

Meatingplace By Susan Kelly The Organization for Competitive Markets, which represents family farm interests, is suing USDA for withdrawing a rule seen as offering farmers and ranchers protections in sales of live animals with meat and poultry processors. USDA announced in October it was withdrawing the interim final rule, an update to the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. Known as the Farmer Fair Practice Rule, the set of regulations was widely opposed by the Read More …

NPR: The Salt | The USDA Rolled Back Protections For Small Farmers. Now The Farmers Are Suing

NPR: The Salt By Nancy Matsumoto  James Dinklage, a cattle rancher from Nebraska, is one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed Thursday. The suit accuses the USDA of “arbitrary and capricious” behavior in rolling back two Obama-era rules designed to protect small farmers, who say they are being exploited by the meatpacking companies they supply. Courtesy Dinklage Family/Organization for Competitive Markets An organization representing the interests of small farmers across rural America fired a legal salvo Thursday Read More …

The New York Times | Lawsuit Challenges Cancellation of Farmer Fair Practice Rule

The New York Times By David Pitt, Associated Press DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farmers in Alabama and Nebraska joined with a Nebraska-based fair trade group Thursday to sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the agency’s cancellation of an Obama-era plan that would have made it easier for farmers to demand better treatment when they contract with meatpacking companies. The lawsuit seeks to reverse the USDA’s October decision to vacate the Farmer Fair Practices Rule — regulations that would have, among Read More …

POLITICO | GAO: USDA must do more to keep checkoffs in check

POLITICO By Jenny Hopkinson The Government Accountability Office has called on USDA to increase oversight of the 22 federal agricultural research and promotion programs, known as checkoffs, while noting that some progress has been made following a critical report from the department’s Inspector General. In a report issued today, GAO found that the Agricultural Marketing Service’s oversight of checkoffs remains inconsistent, despite the recent improvements, which include AMS establishing standard operating procedures for checkoff oversight and conducting internal Read More …

POLITICO | Turkey farmers face squeeze from distributors, just in time for Thanksgiving

POLITICO By Christine Haughney The days leading up to Thanksgiving would seem like an especially busy time to ask turkey farmers to embark on major construction projects on their farms. But a regulatory decision made by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last month opened the door for turkey farmers and other contract growers to be hit with new, burdensome and costly demands from the corporate interests for which they produce livestock. In the case of one group of turkey Read More …

Meatingplace | USDA eliminates GIPSA as own agency, moves CODEX

Meatingplace By Rita Jane Gabbett Less than a month after USDA said it was postponing controversial organizational shifts for its Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) and its Codex food safety office, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has moved ahead on both. GIPSA In a memo to stakeholders dated Nov. 14, Perdue outlined realignment of a number of USDA offices, including eliminated GIPSA as a standalone agency. Instead, USDA will establish within the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) a deputy administrator for Read More …

DTN The Progressive Farmer | Critics Pan Bayer-Monsanto

DTN The Progressive Farmer By Chris Clayton OMAHA (DTN) — Critics of agricultural consolidation joined forces Tuesday in Washington to release reports calling on the Department of Justice to reject the merger between Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. Gathering at the National Press Club to air their grievances against the $63.5 billion merger were the Organization of Competitive Markets, the National Family Farm Coalition, the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, Consumer Federation of America, Friends of the Earth, the Read More …

The Fence Post | Oklahoma cattle producers say ‘no’ to state checkoff

The Fence Post The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry announced the $1 refundable Oklahoma Beef Checkoff referendum failed with 2,506 no votes and 1,998 yes votes. The proposed checkoff would have required that $1 be taken from cattle owners every time they sold cattle. The funds would remain in state to be administered by the Oklahoma Beef Council, which is made up of members appointed by: American Farmers and Ranchers, Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Read More …