The executive order issued last week by the Biden Administration proposes rule changes to increase competition in livestock markets. Farm Bureau Congressional Relations Director Scott Bennett says the executive order focuses on fairness and transparency.

“What we see in the executive order is much more attention being drawn to the potential for some of our livestock markets being unfair. We also see $500 million in regional packing capacity expansion, as well as $100 million for overtime relief for FSIS inspectors at small and regional packing facilities.”

The executive order proposes to alter rules under the Packers and Stockers Act.

“We know that there will be three proposed rules that rework competition and undue preference. While we currently don’t have the text, we await the administration to publish that text, which in the executive order said would be done within the next 150 days.”

Bennett adds Farm Bureau will be engaged in the rulemaking process.

“We do know that this administration is seeking information as to how that $500 million will be spent to in fact expand regional packing capacity. American Farm Bureau will certainly comment and provide feedback to the administration on how that money could best be spent in order to accomplish those goals.”

Pursuant to the executive order on promoting competition, the USDA last week announced a $500 million minimum investment to expand meat and poultry processing capacity so that farmers, ranchers, and consumers have more choices in the marketplace.

USDA also announced more than $150 million for existing small and very small processing facilities to help them weather COVID, compete in the marketplace and get the support they need to reach more customers.