WASHINGTON – On July 8, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (N.C.B.A.) became the most recent group to request a 120-day extension to the public comment period for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (G.I.P.S.A.) proposed rule on livestock marketing. Announced June 18, the proposed rule suggests major changes to the way producers can market their cattle.

In a letter sent this morning to J. Dudley Butler, G.I.P.S.A. administrator, N.C.B.A. president Steve Foglesong iterated N.C.B.A.’s concerns with the proposed rule and emphasized the need for more time to thoroughly analyze its potential legal and economic impacts on U.S. cattle producers.

“The Secretary of Agriculture referred to this as one of the most sweeping reforms of the Packers and Stockyards Act,” Foglesong said. “As such, it’s extremely important that we thoroughly understand the rule and both its intended, and unintended, consequences on the U.S. cattle community.”

N.C.B.A. believes the scope of the proposed rule goes well beyond what Congress intended under the 2008 Farm Bill.

“American cattle producers are innovators who have worked hard over the past several years to develop alternative marketing arrangements and marketing alliances to get paid for the value they add to their cattle,” Foglesong said. “Whether intended or not, we believe that this rule jeopardizes these long-standing marketing arrangements that compensate producers for providing higher quality cattle.”