FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Beef and pork producers spoke out against the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (G.I.P.S.A.) proposed federal rule on the buying and selling of livestock at a public meeting held in Fort Collins, Colo., Aug. 27. U.S.D.A. and Department of Justice hosted the meeting on competition in the livestock industry.

Producers told U.S.D.A. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack they are concerned 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, voiced concerns 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 held a media briefing on Aug. 26 regarding the proposed rule. Pork and beef producers representing more than 20 states attended a meeting to voice their opposition to the G.I.P.S.A. rule, expressing the negative effect it could have on their operations.

"As written, the G.I.P.S.A. rule would limit my ability to sell hogs," said Sam Carney, N.P.P.C. president and a producer from Adair, Iowa. "It's a solution in search of a problem. The markets work, and we don't need the government trying to 'fix' it. The G.I.P.S.A. rule is overly broad and very vague. It would inject uncertainty into the market, stifle innovation and lead to less, not more, competition in the livestock industry."