Senate Completes Farm Bill

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Senate Completes Farm Bill



Soon after yesterday’s disappointing Senate vote to reject the Tester-Grassley Amendment that would have closed the loophole created in the Pickett vs. Tyson lawsuit, the Senate decided to bring its Farm Bill to a close. And it did.



As a result, the amendment to also close the competitive injury loophole was never offered, nor was the Captive Supply Reform Act.



Nonetheless, and thanks to all of you who have been engaged in this process for nearly the entire year, YOU WON A LOT!



Here’s what we accomplished in the Senate Farm Bill:



· Affirmation of and improvements to mandatory country of origin labeling

· Ban on packer ownership of livestock

· Establishment of a Special Counsel for Agricultural Competition to ensure proper enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act

· Directive fro USDA to define “undue preferences and advantage” within the Packers and Stockyards Act.

· Authorization for interstate shipment of state inspected beef

· Authorization of voluntary arbitration for contract growers




The next step in the process is to retain everything we’ve won through the Farm Bill conference committee that must now merge the House and Senate versions into a single Farm Bill.
 
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R-CALF USA Fact Sheet



Summary of the Senate Prohibition on Packers Owning, Feeding, or Controlling Livestock (Packer Ownership Ban)




December 18, 2007





Applicability of the Packer Ownership Ban (Section 10207 of the 2007 Senate Farm Bill)



Prohibits large meatpacker from owning, feeding, or controlling livestock for more than 14 days prior to slaughter.


The Packer Ownership Ban does not apply to:


Contracts between a large packer and a producer for the purchase of livestock in which the producer maintains material participation over the management of the livestock and the farming operation that produces the livestock.


A processing plant owned by a livestock producer-owned cooperative.


A packer that slaughters less than 125,000 head annually and, as such, is not required to report the price and quantity of livestock purchased on a daily basis to USDA.


A packer that owns 1 livestock processing plant.




Transition Period:



For cattle and sheep: The effective date of the Packer Ownership Ban will be six months after the 2007 Farm Bill is signed into law.


For hogs: The effective date of the Packer Ownership Ban will be 18 months after the 2007 Farm Bill is signed into law.
 

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