Congress last week approved a bill clarifying that modern livestock marketing methods are covered by the Packers and Stockyard Act of 1921. The legislation also updates methods of payments to include electronic funds transfers. The measure, according to Farm Bureau, will ensure today’s livestock producers and contemporary livestock marketing practices are clearly protected by the 1921 law.
The Technical and Clarifying Amendments to the Packers and Stockyards Act of 2016 (H.R. 5883) will make it clear that the Packers and Stockyards Act applies to video and Internet auctions, as well as other forms of electronic sale of livestock. Along with including electronic funds transfers, the bill will give the secretary of agriculture flexibility to approve other new methods of payment.
“Farm Bureau believes producers should have access to competitive markets that allow for effective price discovery. In today’s technology-driven businesses, livestock producers must be able to develop and use electronic marketing methods that provide access to more buyers and efficient sales transactions,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall wrote in a letter to House members urging them to pass the bill, which they did on Sept. 26. The Senate passed the measure on Sept. 29 and President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill.