Last week the Nebraska legislature debated and killed LB 176 for the year!
The Bill, introduced by Senator Ken Schilz, would have lifted Nebraska’s ban on packer ownership of hogs. Increasing packer ownership of hogs relegates smaller, family farm producers to the role of residual suppliers, taking lower prices or even lesser contracts at virtually every turn.
Meatpackers want to own hogs because that’s where the profit is. They’d rather someone else stood all the risk, did all the work, and debt-financed the buildings. Nationally, contract growers raising hogs and poultry are treated as little more than serfs by transnational meatpacking corporations. The production contracts they’re offered are as one-sided as imaginable.
We worried when LB 176 passed the first round of debate, but calls from Nebraskans made the difference! Senators told us they were hearing from constituents to oppose this bill.
We must thank our champions in the Legislature - Senators Kate Sullivan, Al Davis, Dave Bloomfield, Mike Groene, and David Schnoor all worked tirelessly on behalf of independent family farmers. Their efforts stirred debate and created much needed dialogue about the problems with this bill and allowing packers to own hogs.
Let’s be sure not to rest on our laurels! This bill will be back next year, so we have a lot of work to do during the interim. Contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 687-2100, if you want to help us work with senators over the summer and up to the next legislative session.
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