Home News Livestock Crops Markets Hay, Range & Pasture Home & Family Classifieds Resources This Week's Journal
Commerical Hay Equipment For The Farm
Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer

Farm Survey

Journal Getaways

Reader Comment:
by Eliza Winters

"I think that the new emission standards are a great move. I think that the"....Read the story...
Join other discussions.

Sometimes you eat the bear

Nearly 10 years ago, I first wrote about the growing threat of vertical integration and concentration in meatpacking. Smithfield, Cargill, IBP, etc. were buying up packing plants and industrial hog production facilities at a breathtaking pace. We spoke loudly and often about the need for the Justice Department to take on these mergers. We called on USDA to write rules that define the "unreasonable preferences" that the Packers and Stockyards Act prohibits and to get busy enforcing them to prevent packers from discriminating against smaller volume family farm and ranch livestock producers.

Thousands of family farmers and ranchers from across America joined us in telling everyone that would listen that action was needed from USDA and Justice. A lot of people--politicians, agency officials, commodity groups, etc.--told us nothing would ever come of it. And, for a long time, nothing did.

But then, in the 2008 farm bill, Congress required USDA to write rules defining "unreasonable preference" to protect family farmers and ranchers against volume based price discrimination. And, last month, the Department of Justice and 13 state attorneys general filed suit to stop JBS, the Brazilian meatpacking conglomerate, from acquiring National Beef Packing. That deal would have given JBS, Tyson and Cargill 85 percent of national beef slaughter (35 percent for JBS alone).

Those thousands of farmers and ranchers knew back then, and those that are left still know today, that sometimes the bear eats you... and sometimes you eat the bear. Maybe, just maybe, the tables are turning.

--John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs.

4 Star NE\4-B

Date: 12/30/08

Web hpj.com

Copyright 1995-2014.  High Plains Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Any republishing of these pages, including electronic reproduction of the editorial archives or classified advertising, is strictly prohibited. If you have questions or comments you can reach us at
High Plains Journal 1500 E. Wyatt Earp Blvd., P.O. Box 760, Dodge City, KS 67801 or call 1-800-452-7171. Email: webmaster@hpj.com


Archives Search

NCBA Convention

United Sorghum Checkoff Program

Inside Futures

Editorial Archives

Browse Archives