New JBS Violations Highlight Weak Enforcement of Packers & Stockyards Act

Today, Organization for Competitive Markets received information indicating that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will be releasing the terms of a settlement agreement with JBS Swift over its gross mishandling of beef carcasses at its Grand Island, Nebraska facility, its largest beef processing plant in the U.S. This unconscionable practice led to probable underpayments to cattle producers in violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act. In a soon to be released press statement, AMS Read More …

GIPSA is Dead; the Fight for Producer Protections Continues

In a move designed to take a thorn out of the side of the world’s largest meatpackers, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue put the final nail in the coffin of the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) by formalizing the elimination of the standalone agency and transferring its delegation to the historically big agribusiness-friendly Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Among its duties, the now defunct GIPSA agency was responsible for enforcement of antitrust law in Read More …

Another Decade to Wait for Meaningful GIPSA Antitrust Enforcement? Hell No!

We had our day in court. On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit heard oral arguments in our lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s unlawful rollback of critical protections designed to safeguard family farms and ranches from predatory and retaliatory practices by big agribusiness corporations. Appearing on behalf of the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and independent farmers, Democracy Forward argued that USDA acted unlawfully in withdrawing the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, or GIPSA Rules, last Read More …

Farmers Detail Harm Suffered at Hands of Big Ag Corporations in Our New Filing Against USDA

In December 2017, we sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for illegally withdrawing critical protections intended to shield family farmers and ranchers from predatory and retaliatory practices by big agribusiness corporations. These protections were known as the Farmer Fair Practices, or GIPSA Rules. Today, with legal representation by Democracy Forward, we filed a new brief in our suit. In it we detail the experiences of farmers and ranchers harmed by discrimination, blackballing, and other terrible tactics at Read More …

Policy Position: Restore the Packers and Stockyards Act

Following is OCM’s policy position on restoring the Packers and Stockyards Act to its original intent. 1. Implement federal legislation that amends Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921(P&S Act) to provide that the use of a ranking system for ranking poultry growers for settlement purposes is unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive and a strict violation of section 202(a) of the P&S Act regardless of whether it harms or is likely to harm competition. 2. Implement federal legislation that is Read More …

OCM Public Comments Strongly Support GIPSA Fair Practices Rule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE LINCOLN, NE – In submitting public comments on the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Fair Practices Rule, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) urges every farmer, every rancher and every consumer to take the time to do the same. OCM President Mike Weaver said, “With the June 12th deadline looming, it is imperative that everyone act now. It appears USDA is disregarding all comments from previous public comment periods and now will Read More …

Former GIPSA Head Debunks NCBA’s Lies About Premium Payments

By Dudley Butler, former GIPSA administrator I was an active member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) for many years. I quit NCBA because its leaders began to lie to its grassroots membership and I could not stomach it any longer. Today’s NCBA leaders continue this untruthful behavior. These leaders are like Judas goats leading their members to the slaughterhouse of vertical integration. The current lies being told by NCBA leaders involve the recent interim final rule Read More …

POLITICO | The Next GIPSA Question

POLITICO Morning Agriculture A daily briefing on agriculture and food policy By JASON HUFFMAN 04/12/17 10:00 AM EDT With help from Jenny Hopkinson and Eric Wolff THE NEXT GIPSA QUESTION: Now that the USDA has agreed to again push back the effective date of its controversial Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s interim final rule, the next action to watch is how commenters respond to the question asked on a new proposed rule, Colin Woodall, the National Cattlemen’s Read More …