D.C. policy leaders learned about issues affecting the livestock marketing industry and participated in a mock auction during Livestock Marketing Association’s (LMA) Washington D.C. Fly In.
World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, Jared Miller, auctioned pies during Hill staff briefings for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Legislative staff gained a better understanding of how the auction method of selling drives up price for producers’ livestock. Bidders from around the room joined in on the competition by raising their hands. The sale topping pie went for $100,000 of mock money. “Where else can you buy a pie for that?” joked Miller, who also owns LMA member market Lamoni Livestock Auction in Iowa.
The pie auction and briefing were just one piece of LMA’s annual D.C. Fly In. LMA members and staff also met individually with legislators and legislative staff to discuss issues that affect LMA member businesses. Participants educated policy leaders about livestock marketing and the extreme pressure their businesses face under current law.
On the top of the LMA’s list was support for the creation of a Dealer Statutory Trust. In the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct a feasibility study of Dealer Statutory Trust.
Under the Packers and Stockyards Act, markets are required to maintain a custodial account and pay sellers for livestock promptly, even if the buyer does not pay the livestock market. Under current law, the ability to recover livestock or funds when a livestock dealer defaults is extremely limited.
The creation of a Dealer Statutory Trust would give unpaid sellers of livestock first priority to reclaim livestock or, if they have been resold, the proceeds/receivables from livestock. It would not require a change in day-to-day operations. Rather, it would simply provide unpaid sellers (producers selling directly or markets selling on their behalf) priority in the event of a dealer default.
Livestock marketers in town for the Fly In also discussed the continued need for a livestock hauler Electronic Logging Device (ELD) exemption while pursuing needed Hours of Service (HOS) drive time flexibility.
LMA members also met with officials from the USDA Packers and Stockyards Division, which regulates livestock markets, packers, and dealers on payment and fair trade practices. Animal Disease Traceability was the main topic discussed in the LMA meeting with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
“Livestock markets and dealers work hard day in and day out to gain top dollar for producers’ livestock,” said Chelsea Good, LMA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs and Legal. “I’m proud of our members who invested their time to leave the barn for the Beltway to connect with policy leaders who make decisions affecting their lives.”
Source: Livestock Marketing Association