Sen. Johnson cosponsors ban on packer livestock ownershipWASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that seeks to allow independent farmers and ranchers to stay competitive with large meatpackers.
By: News release, Office of Sen. Tim Johnson
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that seeks to allow independent farmers and ranchers to stay competitive with large meatpackers.
There has long been concern that when meatpackers are able to own the livestock they slaughter, they are able to suppress the price and reduce competition for livestock raised by producers, Johnson said.
This bill, commonly referred to as the packer ban, would prohibit the large meatpackers from owning livestock for more than seven days prior to slaughter.
“Consolidation in the livestock industry has hurt our independent farmers and ranchers. It is time for Congress to act to give them the ability to better compete in the marketplace,” Johnson said. “This bipartisan legislation will keep our farmers and ranchers in the fold and ensure they get a fair price for their product.”
There are several exemptions in the bill, including arrangements entered into within seven days before slaughter of the livestock by a packer; exemption of cooperatives that are owned by livestock producers; an exemption for small packing firms that are not required to comply with mandatory price reporting regulations; and an exemption for packers that own only one processing facility.
Johnson cosponsored this bill, S. 2141, with Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.