Producers voiced concerns to USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about the unintended consequences of the proposed rule. Robbie LeValley, president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association; a cattle producer; and a co-owner of Homestead Meats, a family owned company marketing beef locally, is worried that the proposed rule could have a negative impact on her family business.
“Our innovation and our willingness to do direct marketing has basically now labeled us a packer and under the proposed rule, as I read it, now limits our marketing options – meaning not being able to sell to other packers,” she said. “While some say that is not the intent of the rule, the vagueness of the language makes it very possible.”
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) held a media briefing on Aug. 26 regarding the proposed rule. Pork and beef producers representing more than 20 states attended the meeting to voice their opposition to the GIPSA rule, expressing the negative effect it could have on their operations.