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House Ag Committee advances bill to amend Packers & Stockyards Act

Bill ensures that nation's laws reflect technological changes in livestock markets.

Jacqui Fatka

September 14, 2016

2 Min Read
House Ag Committee advances bill to amend Packers & Stockyards Act

On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee passed a bill (H.R. 5883) by Rep. David Rouzer (R., N.C.) to modernize and clarify the Packers & Stockyards Act as it relates to the buying or selling of livestock in commerce through online, video and other electronic methods.

H.R. 5883 updates the requirements and method of transactions producers must follow – specifically by providing the same protections for those who sell through online and video auctions and permitting the use of modern electronic payment methods.

"The Packers & Stockyards Act was written almost 100 years ago and is in need of modernization,” Rouzer explained. “This clarification is a reflection of changes in the marketplace as a result of modern technologies. This legislation will help ensure that our producers receive the law's financial protections, regardless of whether they sell products at a fixed-facility market or through an online or video auction."

“Our industry and the world around us has evolved since 1921, when the act was implemented,” added Colin Woodall, National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. senior vice president of government affairs. “The bill expands the definition of marketing agency to include video and online auctions and updates acceptable payment methods to include electronic transfer of funds. Having not been revised in decades, we appreciate Rep. David Rouzer’s leadership to ensure the legislation reflects the latest technologies utilized and modern banking methods.”

House Agriculture Committee chairman Mike Conaway (R., Texas) also applauded Rouzer for his work in putting forth a commonsense bill to modernize provisions in the Packers & Stockyards Act. “With the increase of livestock sales online and through video auction, this change ensures that these individuals receive the same protections as are provided to those who buy and sell at fixed-facilities,” Conaway said.

The National Pork Producers Council said it supports the clarifications as well.

There is support for similar legislation in the Senate, according to sources.

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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