Iowa Senate OKs meatpacker bill

US - A bill that would require Iowa meatpackers to buy 25 percent of their animals from non-affiliated livestock producers is making its way through the Iowa Legislature this year.
calendar icon 29 March 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
The bill, SF 504, was passed by the Iowa Senate last week where it garnered 34 out of 50 votes.

All 30 Democrats in the Senate voted for the bill, and they were joined by four Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mary Lundby, R-Marion, and former Senate Agriculture Chairman Thurman Gaskill, R-Corwith.

It awaits action in the House.

“This was copied after the Grassley proposal in the 2002 farm bill,” explains Senate President Jack Kibbie, D-Emmetsburg.

HE SAYS the idea is to require packers to buy at least 25 percent of the animals they buy from entities they do not own or control.

The bill also contains language requiring packers to buy at least 10 percent of their animals on the spot market in the first year. That figure eventually would rise to 20 percent over the next four years.

A recent USDA study indicated only 11 percent of hogs slaughtered nationally were bought on the open-cash market.

Iowa’s ban on packer ownership of animals has come under fire in the courts in recent years. The state attorney general has entered into agreements with several of the largest packers in the state that allows them to contract feed animals.

THOSE AGREEMENTS include language saying the packers will abide by the 25 percent figure for several years. Such agreements have been signed with Smithfield Foods, Cargill and Hormel.

Source: Iowa Farmer Today
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.