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NFU and Coalition Urge Farm Bill Inclusion of Competition Reform

by 5m Editor
22 May 2007, at 11:25am

US - National Farmers Union organized a coalition of 63 nationwide organizations today to lend their support for the Competitive and Fair Agricultural Markets Act of 2007 (H.R. 2135), introduced by House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Chairman Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa.

In a letter to Boswell, the coalition urged the legislation’s inclusion in the 2007 Farm Bill and said the legislation would restore profitability and fairness to agricultural markets. The Livestock, Dairy and Poultry subcommittee will mark up its 2007 Farm Bill provisions later this week.

“Concentration in the livestock sector is at a record high,” NFU President Tom Buis said. “Increased competition in agriculture will benefit family farmers, ranchers and their rural communities. This legislation is a positive first step toward developing a quality competition title in the 2007 Farm Bill.”

Restoring competition is a top NFU priority and the organization views the 2007 Farm Bill as the foremost opportunity for policies to reverse the trend of consolidation in the agriculture sector. NFU recently released a study conducted by Drs. Mary Hendrickson and William Heffernan from the University of Missouri which found that concentration in every sector of agriculture increased, with the exception of ethanol.

Buis said that while there are a host of competition issues that need to be addressed, including implementation of mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL), a ban on packer ownership of livestock, captive supply reform, interstate shipment of meat and poultry, beef checkoff reform, among others, Boswell’s legislation can serve as the benchmark for the House Farm Bill.

The companion Senate bill is S.622.

5m Editor