For more information contact:
Mike Weaver CPGAVA 304-249-5347
Poultry Growers Meet with Law Makers
Several members of Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias (CPGAVA) met last Tuesday in Washington with Agriculture Legislative Assistants for several Senators and Congressmen as well as the House Agriculture Committee to solicit their support for new contract agriculture rules that have been proposed by the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) a division of USDA.
These new rules will create a base pay which poultry integrators (companies) cannot take away from as is the current practice under the ranking system by which growers are paid, require contracts for a period long enough for growers to recoup 80% of their considerable investment in their poultry raising facility, make retaliation against growers a federal offense, and many other changes that will bring contract agriculture into the twenty first century.
Mike Weaver, President of Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias, who was one of the participants in the meetings, said that “… the companies are lobbying hard in congress against these new rules because they do not want to lose the control over growers they currently enjoy. Growers are paid just slightly more than what growers were making twenty five years ago and documentation proving that was presented to the legislative assistants who could not believe poultry producers are still abused like this in 2010 Weaver said.
GIPSA released these new proposed rules for comment after meeting all of the requirements for such a release which are extensive. This comment period was initially to end August 23 but was extended until November 22 at the request of the House Agriculture Committee to allow a more detailed analysis of their impact. “A movement is now afoot to require USDA to do an extensive economic analysis which is a typical strategy to attempt to kill these rules…” Weaver said. “We have had a system in place for the implementation of rules such as these for a long time and that procedure has been put into motion. We would like to see that procedure left to take its course without undue political influence…” Weaver said. He also encouraged growers to call their elected representatives and tell them they support these new rules that will help keep growers in business.
Poultry farmers who are not familiar with the changes these new rules will bring about are encouraged to contact Weaver at 304-249-5347 or any member of Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias for more information. Or they can go to the USDA web site at USDA.