The Farmer Fair Practice Rules have been delayed by the Trump Administration until November 14, 2017 and its impacting the poultry industry. The Rules were initiated by Congress during the drafting of the 2008 Farm Bill. Congress wanted the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to determine if packers were violating the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S), which ensures fair pricing and retail protection within agricultural markets. The Grain Inspection Packers & Stockyard Administration (GIPSA), is the enforcement arm of the P & S Act or the “anti-trust” act of agriculture. Unfortunately, for the past few decades the poultry industry has taken advantage of the lack of non-enforcement. Currently, 97 percent of the poultry industry uses contract growers to raise, the 9 billion chickens we consume on average. With 51 percent of the industry controlled by two companies, contract growers are at the mercy of the integrator. The Rules will require integrator’s to adhere to certain provisions to ensure better compensation and treatment of the growers.
After receiving over 60,000 comments over the past seven years and analyzing the economic impact on the poultry industry from the grower and packer’s perspective, the delay by the current administration is just another deterrent for growers. The time to make the rules effective are now and long overdue. The rules were supposed to go into effect on March 20, 2017 but due to the delay, the Trump Administration has now reopened the comment period again. Please submit your comments by June 9 in support of the rules.
Jillian is the Founder and Director of F.A.R.M.S. is a regional nonprofit in the Southeast focused on providing technical services to small family farms and landowners in an effort to protect inter-generational land ownership. Jillian is also Owner of Hishaw Law, LL.C. Please follow us on social media www.30000acres.org Instagram: @jillian_hishaw FB: JillianHishaw