Within hours of USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s decision to eliminate the GIPSA Farmer Fair Practices Rules, family farmers were already feeling the harsh effects. A Pennsylvania turkey processing company felt emboldened to demand its contract farmers make costly upgrades on their farms or accept pay cuts. These demands are likely to destroy the livelihood of at least one turkey farmer.
The GIPSA farmer protection rules would have put a stop to these types of predatory and retaliatory practices by large corporations. In withdrawing the rules, Secretary Perdue stated that powerful agricultural meat packers and processors are supposed to “treat one another fairly and not in a predatory fashion” and that these actions by large corporations were moral actions that litigation and regulation would not solve. He expects these companies to just do the right thing.
Secretary Perdue needs to know and understand that these large monopolistic corporations have no intention nor incentive to do the right thing by family farmers or consumers. To have fairness and justice in the market, we need our market safeguards implemented and our antitrust laws enforced. Just before Thanksgiving, we worked with turkey farmers to expose the injustice they are facing.
Now it is your turn to tell your story to Secretary Perdue about how the market really works for family farmers.
Have you experienced harm to your independent farm or ranch because a meat packer has engaged in an unfair practice? Were you targeted for retaliation? Were you not given transparency by a packer about how your prices were calculated? Was your contract broken by a meat packer in bad faith?
We are gathering stories so we can continue to put pressure on the administration to enforce the Packers & Stockyards Act. Please share your story through the from below. We will ensure that it is personally delivered to Secretary Perdue’s office.