Senators Listen to Livestock Producers, Introduce Ban on Packer Ownership of Livestock

(Note: This legislation, if passed, is great news! There is additional suggested research reading after the press release. The linking of some of these groups to 'sustainable' programs is troubling.)

January 7, 2003

Washington, D.C. - Today four U.S. Senators introduced legislation that would ban giant meatpackers like Smithfield, Cargill, Premium Standard Farms, and Hormel from owning livestock. The Senators, Grassley (R-IA), Harkin (D-IA), Enzi (R-WY), and Johnson (D-SD), are introducing the bill to address one of the most important issues facing independent livestock producers across the country -- corporate control in the livestock industry.

The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment (CFFE) met with Senator Grassley on December 4, in Des Moines to encourage him to introduce the packer ban in the Senate as soon as possible. At the meeting Senator Grassley committed to CFFE to do that.

"We appreciate Senator Grassley and the other co-sponsors taking this action," said Missouri Rural Crisis Center member Harold Beach, an independent livestock producer and Campaign spokesperson. "When we met with Senator Grassley we told him we need to address the problem of corporate ownership of livestock and excessive control over markets, and this bill begins to do that."

The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment led a massive grassroots effort that was successful in passing the packer ban through the Senate during the 2002 Farm Bill debate. The packer ban was removed from the final version of last year's farm bill under intense lobbying pressure from meatpackers during the Agricultural Conference Committee debate.

Missouri Rural Crisis Center member Rhonda Perry, an independent livestock producer and spokesperson for the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment said, "Senators Bond and Talent need to support this legislation because passing the packer ban is the single most important thing Congress can do this year to help independent livestock producers. We don't need any delay. We need a packer ban today."

The Campaign for Family Farms is a coalition of farm and rural groups that are leading the fight against the corporate takeover of the hog industry and working for policies that support independent family farmers. CFFE member groups include Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Land Stewardship Project and Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

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Campaign for Family Farms (National Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment) - CFFE

1108 Rangeline Street

Columbia, MO 65201

573-449-1336

Fax: 573-442-5716

From: Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC) [the Patchwork Family Farms label]

1108 Rangeline St

Columbia, MO 65201

573-449-1336

Fax: 573-442-5716

morural@coin.org

For more information: Rhonda Perry/Missouri Rural Crisis Center (573-449-1336)

Land Stewardship Project Office (612-722-6377)

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) (515-282-0484)

Illinois Stewardship Alliance (217-498-9707)

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) Joe Fagan, executive director 1607 E. Grand Ave. Des Moines, Iowa 50316 (515) 266-5213 rgarr@grass-roots.org  http://www.grass-roots.org/usa/iacci.shtml  Note: This introduces their Links Page: GROUPS THAT CHANGE COMMUNITIES The following Websites represent national and local organizations committed to improving their communities through creative innovation and by fostering the empowerment that leads to individual self-reliance. They are worthy of your support. http://www.grass-roots.org/links.shtml

Land Stewardship Project ("Land Stewardship Project fosters an ethic of stewardship for farmland, promotes sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities.") http://www.landstewardshipproject.org/

http://www.communitiesbychoice.org  Communities By Choice

http://www.communitiesbychoice.org/resources.cfm?w=Sustainability%20Principles&rs=1

Sustainable  Development: Sustainable Development Resources