There is still time to comment on three “Farmer Fair Practice Rules” introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in December. The comment period has been extended to March 24.
The interim and proposed rules level the playing field and would create much needed protections for poultry and livestock producers. Provisions include:
- Allowing producers to protect their rights without having to prove that a processor’s actions hurt the entire livestock industry.
- Providing protections for producers, should processors limit producers’ legal rights in livestock or poultry contracts, or require unreasonable capital investment in their operations.
- Requiring poultry processors to use greater fairness and transparency when purchasing birds from several producers.
In 2010, USDA held listening sessions with poultry and livestock producers across the country to gather information about patterns of unfair treatment from processors and packers. With that and other input, the department published a proposed rule in 2010.
Today’s rules are revisions of provisions in the 2010 rule. They seek to clarify and enforce certain parts of the Packers and Stockyards Act and expand protections for poultry and livestock producers.
Please visit federalregister.gov to comment.
Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.