Thirty-four livestock, farm and consumer groups in Wyoming from the Powder River Basin Resource Council to the National Farmers Union - recently sent a letter to the U.S. Senate to encourage their support of various amendments to the 2013 Farm Bill. That includes an amendment authored in part by U.S. Senator Mike Enzi. Sheridan Media's Chris Foy has more.
According to R-CALF USA, a national cattle producer organization, the groups says the 2013 Farm Bill represents an opportunity for Congress to take steps to reverse what they call and "ongoing exodus" of independent livestock and poultry producers. The group says unfair and deceptive contract and marketing practices have inspired the so-called exodus.
The groups wrote in the letter that ever since the 2008 Farm Bill was enacted, the United States has lost four percent of its beef cattle operations and seven percent of its hog operations.
Senator Enzi's amendment to the Farm Bill, S.A. 982, would require all marketing deals use fixed base prices - prohibiting anti-competitive contracts between two parties. R-CALF USA says Enzi's amendment would ensure independent cattle producers are fairly paid for their stock.
The three additional amendments would establish a special council dealing with antitrust enforcement, request an annual report from the Secretary of Agriculture and protect potential whistle-blowers in the farming industry from company retaliation for discussing contracts with federal officials.