In May 2019, we shared that the USDA released a notice of proposed rulemaking. This indicated that in Summer 2019 the agency would begin writing rules critical to protecting contract poultry and livestock farmers from illegal and unfair corporate business practices including retaliation. The new rule will seek to clarify Section 202(b) of the Packers and Stockyard’s Act, which was passed into law in 1921 in response to rampant abuses in the meatpacking industry. The rule release will be followed by a 60-day public comment period. Click here to read our specific rule guidance about what must be included in order to be effective in protecting farmers.
In June 2019, we launched a #StandwithFarmFamilies campaign including a petition to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and campaign webpage: www.standwithfarmfamilies.org.
In July, we traveled with a group of farmers to DC to meet with their legislators about this issue. The group in DC included farmers from 7 states across the Southeast and Midwest. During the trip, farmers made a total of 33 Hill visits, spoke to USDA representatives, met with staffers from the Senate and House Ag. Committees, held a Congressional briefing, and live streamed a farmer press conference. Senator Tester (D-MT) and Congresswoman Kaptur (D-OH) circulated a Dear Colleague letter which was sent to Under Secretary Ibach on July 30th, 2019. In October 2019, we delivered the petition to the USDA with more than 84,000 signatures. Learn more: rafiusa.org/blog/standwithfarmfamilies and rafiusa.org/blog/DCTripRecap
Stand with Farm Families is a project of RAFI-USA, Organization for Competitive Markets, and Government Accountability Project.