Just days from Thanksgiving, some turkey farmers are feeling the effects of Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision to pull out of the final interim GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration) rule.
Politico reports that just hours after the announcement, Plainville Farms of Pennsylvania presented its farmers with updated contracts that required the producers to make costly upgrades to their operations or accept a cut in pay. One Pennsylvania farmer is aiming to get out of the business as a result of the new contract.
Ike Horst raised 22,000 organic turkeys on his farm. Plainview is requiring the new owner of the operation to install upgrades like new fans, tunnel ventilation, and a stationary generator. Renovations will be difficult for all their contract farmers to make in the winter as they have to find temporary housing for a lot of birds. The interim rule would have made it easier for producers to sue the meat-packing or processing companies they contract with.
Mike Weaver is president of the Organization for Competitive Markets. He says, “We’re fairly convinced that if the Secretary wouldn’t have done away with the rules we wanted to get implemented, companies wouldn’t do things like this.” Weaver thinks doing away with GIPSA has emboldened companies to abuse their growers.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.