Congress Must Act to Define Fair Livestock Market Competition

In many rural places where livestock are raised there are only a few, or even just one, packer or processor for a given livestock species. Currently, over 80 percent of hogs are either owned outright by packers or tightly controlled through various contracting devices. Many farmers and ranchers face price discrimination and severely limited market access as a result.

The audit of the Packers and Stockyards Administration performed by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General and released in February 2006 revealed that the agency has utterly failed to enforce the very law that gives it a reason to exist.

Corporate Farming Regulations Enter New Phase with I-300 Decision

The refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the district court ruling overturning Initiative 300 – Nebraska’s anti-corporate farm law – may end one era. But it signals the start of a new phase of state efforts to regulate corporate farming and level the playing field for family farms.

The recent string of court rulings overturning the Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska corporate farm laws does not prevent state regulation of corporate farming. Corporate farm restrictions can be tough and still meet the principles laid down by the court.


Iowa bill requiring meatpackers to buy from independent producers killed in subcommittee; telling Congress about vertical integration

>> Despite passage by a significant majority in the Iowa Senate, SF 504, a bill that would have required meatpackers to purchase 25 percent of the hogs they slaughter in Iowa from independent producers, died in a legislative subcommittee.

Representative Delores Mertz (D-Ottosen), chair of the House Agriculture Committee, named herself to a subcommittee to review the bill, seemingly for the purpose of blocking its passage.

State Legislatures Deliberate over School Funding

As many state legislatures come to a close, one issue that is almost always at the forefront is school funding. Each state funds public school education differently and uniquely. Here we look at what several states have been up to this session.

Nebraska Legislature Addressing Rural Issues

In the 2007 Nebraska Legislature, the Center for Rural Affairs has focused on legislation that will enhance economic opportunities in rural communities and will make existing programs work better for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and rural communities.

While legislative actions on the Center’s priorities are not complete, our priorities are receiving favorable treatment. That is due in large part because many of you who believe in the future of rural Nebraska, its people, and its communities, have become advocates for small business development, for new rural development strategies, and for real resources to make a difference. We thank you for all your efforts to build a strong and vibrant rural Nebraska.


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