Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) joins a growing chorus of congressional members expressing strong opposition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) proposed rule dealing with livestock marketing.

Lugar indicates he was recently contacted by agricultural leaders who represent a majority of livestock producers in Indiana who are deeply concerned about the proposed GIPSA rule.

In a letter to USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last week, Lugar comments:

“I agree with these producers that federal regulations should not impede the development of products, in this case those derived from raising poultry and livestock that may command a higher market price due to desirable characteristics. I also agree that the development of private contracts that facilitate these transactions, Alternative Marketing Agreements, have played an important role in efficient poultry and livestock production practices that respond to rapidly changing consumer choices.”

Lugar says farmers of all sizes should have fair access to markets and support policies that increase demand for agricultural products.

“However, I am concerned that GIPSA’s proposals may restrict innovation in agricultural markets resulting in the decreased competitiveness of U.S. agriculture production and diminished consumer choices, both of which seem counter to U.S. agricultural policy.”