NCBA Claims GIPSA Rule Could Oust Premiums


GIPSA – it’s a BIG acronym that has been at the center of a quite confusing controversy which saw its most recent battle in Washington D.C. this week.

GIPSA stands for the USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration and it has regulatory oversight over the Packers and Stockyards Act. 

Now, a new proposed GIPSA rule is looking to rewrite that Act, thus changing the rules for packers, market agencies, dealers and stockyards.  Gregg Doud is the Chief Economist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in D.C. Northern Ag Network spoke with Gregg after he stepped out of a Congressional hearing discussing the new rule.  He told me that Congress, in the 2008 Farm Bill, asked USDA & GIPSA to address some issues in particular related to the poultry industry and arbitration.  They have since come forward with this current rule that proposes regulation for much more than that

Gregg told Northern Ag that the move was not well received by Congress.

While the rule is extremely complicated, Gregg outlined one provision within it that has to deal with the premiums that are given to one quality of cattle over another.  The premium given to cattle that are age and source verified, part of an all-natural program or qualified under Certified Angus Beef, etc. is known legally as a “preference.”  Showing a preference under the new proposed rule, Greg tells us, could get the buyers in trouble. 

Within the realms of the new rule, he says that someone would just have to say that they were legally “injured” by a buyer showing a preference.

That statement, Gregg tells us, doesn’t need to have any proof along with it.

This is a complicated issue and one that will not die down for a while.  There is currently a 60-day comment period open on the new rule and comments must be receive by August 23.  While the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is looking for an extension to that comment period, the National Farmers Union and R-CALF USA do not want more time allowed. 

For more information on the proposed rule, visit the USDA:

Comments may be sent via email to or sent by mail to Tess Butler, GIPSA, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 1643-S, Washington, D.C. 20250-3604. Copies of the proposed rule and additional information can be found at: by clicking on Federal Register.


© Northern Ag Network 2010

Haylie Shipp



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