Livestock Marketing Association praises House Committee action
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) President Jerry Etheredge praised the leaders and members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture for their swift action in advancing H.R. 5883, the Technical and Clarifying Amendments to the Packers and Stockyards Act of 2016, which was approved by the committee September 14.
“We commend Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Peterson and Representative Rouzer for their leadership. This legislation updates the Packers and Stockyards Act with these common-sense changes that helps bring the law into the 21st Century,” said Etheredge. “We hope this strong bipartisan support will continue with quick consideration and passage of the bill by the full House and Senate. We especially thank all the members of the Committee for their support of the bill.”
The P&S Act was enacted in 1921. Much has changed in the marketing and banking industry since that time. This was highlighted in a nine-stop listening tour LMA completed in 2015 to get feedback from livestock auction markets and professional buyers regulated by the law as well as broader industry conversations. In July, Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (R-NC) introduced HR 5883, taking a first step by making two targeted changes.
First, HR 5883 clarifies that P&S Act requirements apply to online and video auctions that are charging a commission or other fee and handling funds due to sellers. Businesses currently selling livestock online, including many LMA members, already follow the law’s prompt payment, custodial account, and bonding requirements. However, the lack of clear USDA authority in this area is concerning. This change ensures that farmers and ranchers selling through online and video auctions are provided similar protections as those who sell at a fixed-facility livestock market.
Second, HR 5883 explicitly allows the use of modern electronic payment methods, such as Automated Clearing House (A.C.H.) payments, as an option for people covered by the P&S Act to meet prompt payment requirements. Currently, Section 409 refers to only two forms of payment to meet the prompt payment requirement: checks in the mail and wire transfers.
Earlier this week, the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, Livestock Marketing Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers Union, National Livestock Producers Association, and United States Cattlemen’s Association wrote the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees a letter indicating support of H.R. 5883.
About the Livestock Marketing Association
The Livestock Marketing Association, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is North America’s largest membership organization dedicated to supporting, representing and communicating with and for the entire livestock marketing sector. LMA has more than 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.LMAWeb.com.