Friday, February 16, 2007

Saving Family Cattle Producers?

John Crabtree over at the Blog for Rural America has a very interesting article on Senator Tom Harkin's bill about competition in the meat marketing business. John says:

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) is preparing to introduce
legislation to foster competition in livestock markets that serve family farmers
and ranchers. The bill is intended to lay the foundation for a competition title
in the 2007 farm bill. Unfortunately, there is no stampede of Senators beating a
path to Senator Harkin’s door to co-sponsor the bill, despite the fact that
during the election cycle they made a lot of hay with rhetoric about “standing
up for family farmers and ranchers.”

John goes onto talk about who is opposed to this bill:

The American Meat Institute and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are
exerting pressure on Congress to oppose these reforms. But recently the Center
for Rural Affairs joined 211 farm, faith and rural organizations in calling for
a competition title, with these provisions, in the farm bill.Family farm and
ranch livestock production has been decimated in the five years that have passed
since a conference committee tossed aside the hard fought competition reforms
that were won on the Senate floor in 2002. Without action now, there will be far
fewer farmers and ranchers to fight for in another five years.

It would seem anything we can do to foster keeping up our family farm livestock numbers would be a good thing.

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