PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: Becky Ceartas, 919-621-8453, [email protected] June 6, 2012 RAFI Comment on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Mark Up – FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies marked up the FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill today. The Agriculture Appropriations bill that was reported out of committee is using a back-door approach to overturn an existing regulation: the 2011 USDA Grain Inspectors, Packers and Stockyards Administration rule that protects contract poultry growers from company abuses. The rule in question helps thousands of poultry farmers throughout the country by giving them common-sense protections:
- It protects farmers from being forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive equipment upgrades in order to keep their contracts and stay on their family farms.
- It provides pullet and breeder poultry farmers with much needed protections under the Packers and Stockyards Act. Previously, these poultry farmers could not contact anyone at USDA for help if they had a contract dispute with their company. Now they have the same protections as farmers who raise broilers.
- It keeps farmers from losing thousands of dollars if they get a flock from the company late through no fault of their own.