Larry Matlack, President of the American Agriculture Movement (AAM), commended U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s leadership in advancing new pro-competition rules under authority of the Packers and Stockyards Act and administered by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). He also challenged the motives of 147 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who asked to halt the year-long process intended to improve competition in the livestock markets.

“The American beef, pork and poultry producers have worked long and hard at a distinct disadvantage in the marketing arena because of the unfair and antitrust-violating system used by meatpackers and large integrated livestock corporations,” declared Matlack, a grain and forage producer from Burrton, Kan. “It is disappointing, alarming and confusing to me that so many members of the U.S. House of Representatives have called on Secretary Vilsack to stop the process of updating our livestock marketing in the eleventh month since the proposed rules were published for comment. Why are they attempting to stall access to fair markets for America’s farm families?”

“Extensive hearings have been held to bring the light of day to this devastating system currently forced upon rural America,” added Matlack. “Now that USDA is working to correct the destructive shortcomings in the markets, it reflects poorly on so many Members of Congress who are attempting to stop USDA from addressing the injustice perpetrated on American livestock producers.”

“AAM fully supports Secretary Vilsack in his endeavor to improve competition and bring fair markets to the livestock sector with the new GIPSA rules and we urge him to move forward. We have been working on these critical issues for decades and should not allow the Secretary’s marketing improvements to drag on any more.”