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Cautious Approach To Livestock Market Reforms Warranted

by 5m Editor
19 April 2007, at 10:45am

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Republican Member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, yesterday heard testimony from witnesses representing various interest groups and national livestock organizations during a committee hearing on competition in livestock markets.

Senator Chambliss:
"Livestock and poultry producers today must compete in an imbalanced international marketplace."

"Everyone who is concerned with agriculture understands the need for cattle, pork, poultry and other producers to have every fair option at their disposal to market and sell their animals," said Sen. Chambliss. "I am hopeful that as we construct a farm bill that will affect the entire livestock industry, we will include the input of all stakeholders including the producers who raise the animals to the retailers who ultimately sell the finished product. Every stage of the process is critical to a competitive, thriving livestock industry and marketplace."

Sen. Chambliss noted that the pork and cattle industries in Georgia utilize alternative marketing arrangements to sell their animals. The Georgia cattle industry is dominated by cow/calf operations that utilize these measures to obtain higher prices for their animals and accommodate niche markets, such as certified Angus beef. They also use these arrangements in an effort to satisfy export markets and to ensure the production of the higher quality products that consumers demand.

"The proposed elimination of these types of arrangements could have a negative impact on my producers," said Sen. Chambliss. "Livestock and poultry producers today must compete in an imbalanced international marketplace that often rejects their product for unjustified and unscientific reasons. Our producers compete for corn supplies with ethanol facilities, further raising their costs of production and making it more difficult for producers to be profitable. I urge my colleagues to employ a cautious approach as we consider legislative proposals that would limit the options of producers by banning these types of arrangements."

5m Editor