February 4, 2014 Billings, Mont. – R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard issued the following statement following today’s passage of H.R. 2642, the Agricultural Act of 2014.
“Our priority for the past two years was to ensure that neither country-of-origin labeling (COOL) nor enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act would be weakened in the 2014 Farm Bill. Despite the unrelenting lobbying efforts by transnational meatpackers and their allied trade groups that wanted Congress to limit marketing opportunities for independent cattle producers, Congress chose, instead, to honor the requests by those independent cattle producers.
“As a result, the 2014 Farm Bill enables cattle producers, who have no means to independently require retailers to distinguish their products from imported products, to nevertheless inform consumers as to where their beef was born, raised and slaughtered.
“In addition, cattle producers will not be hamstrung by the 2014 Farm Bill when they seek to invoke the Packers and Stockyards Act to stop transnational meatpackers from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices that have the effect of denying independent producers access to the marketplace.
“By its passage of this 2014 Farm Bill, Congress has set a stage that will allow us to put a stop to the transnational meatpackers’ efforts to capture control of the live cattle supply chain away from U.S. farmers and ranchers.
“Our hats are off to the leaders in Congress that have begun to listen to independent producers.”
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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.