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Speaker Ready to Address Issues at Workshop

Speaker Ready to Address Issues at Workshop

Iowa farmer wants competition and fairness to give hope to family farmers and ranchers.

Iowa Farmers Union President Chris Petersen will represent Iowa Farmers Union and the Center for Rural Affairs Friday when he serves on a panel during the public workshop on competition and antitrust in livestock markets and the meat packing industry. The event is being hosted by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Justice at Colorado State University.

Petersen, who farms near Clear Lake, Iowa, says that what is being done to farming and ranching, and really, all of rural America today, is inexcusable and unacceptable. 

"I intend to go to Fort Collins and stand up and fight for family farmers, ranchers and our small cities and towns," Peterson said. "I'm going there to share some thoughts with Attorney General Holder and Secretary Vilsack about what they can and should do to breathe some life, some competition, some fairness back into our livestock markets and give some hope to family farm and ranch livestock producers."

John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs, says the center has and will continue to urge USDA to hold their ground and end the volume-based, "sweetheart" deals that packers routinely give to the nation's largest hog and cattle producers. He adds that USDA has written a strong rule that will improve enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act and challenge the price discrimination against family farmers and ranchers that has driven tens of thousands of them out of the livestock business.

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