Support For Farm Bill Split Among Livestock Groups

US - The livestock industry appears to be divided on the House version of the 2007 farm bill. Major pork and dairy groups have unqualified praise for the measure while beef cattle groups have a more two-sided assessment.
calendar icon 31 July 2007
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The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is praising the House farm bill, approved by a 40-vote margin Friday, as one that "will help pork producers remain competitive in the global marketplace." NPPC President Jill Appell said in a release issued Friday her organization wanted a farm bill that, among other things, "protects producers from initiatives that would adversely affect their livelihoods, such as mandates on production practices." Appell said the farm bill passed the House "achieves those goals."

Similarly, the National Milk Producers Federation (NFMPF) said in a statement Friday the House farm bill will help keep the dairy industry "vibrant in the future." According to the NMPF statement, the House farm bill did no less than include "all of the major elements that the National Milk Producers Federation had sought when the process of writing a farm bill in Congress began earlier this year."

But R-CALF USA Vice President Randy Stevenson expressed frustration the House farm bill didn't contain "any measures to limit captive supplies, which just allows meatpackers the continued ability to manipulate the domestic cattle market." Stevenson added that R-CALF was disappointed "there was no language to limit packer ownership of cattle, and the House version didn’t include essential language to update and strengthen the Packers and Stockyards Act.

And while the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is pleased the House farm bill doesn't tackle those competition issues, NCBA lobbyist Collin Woodall said his group isn't happy with the limits on conservation payments included in the measure. And overall, Woodall described the House farm bill as "not exactly the best farm bill for cattlemen, but it's a good start."

Source: Brownfield
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