Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
The Ag Minute: Proposed GIPSA Rule Deserves More Scrutiny, Economic Analysis
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Reid Ribble, discusses the need for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to consider further public comment and an economic analysis of the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule before making it final. On May 18, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking that producers be given the opportunity to comment on the economic analysis of the proposed rule.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"I’m Congressman Reid Ribble from Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District. As a freshman on the Agriculture Committee I’ve become concerned about the process associated with the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule dealing with livestock markets.
"We all agree that transparent and efficient markets benefit producers, processors, retailers and consumers – and I believe that our laws governing market practices should be strictly enforced.
"However, producers I talk with express concerns that this far reaching rule will create economic uncertainty for them and prove highly disruptive to our nation’s livestock sector.
"While this rule was prompted by the 2008 Farm Bill, troublesome provisions go far beyond Congressional intent.
"I was proud to lead the bipartisan effort by 147 members of Congress demanding the Secretary of Agriculture put this rule on hold until its full implication can be considered with a thorough economic impact analysis.
"America’s farmer and ranchers will succeed if we restrain bureaucratic interference. This proposed rule should be carefully considered with respect to its unintended consequences, particularly for those it is purported to protect: producers."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.