Policy demands Packers Stockyards Act enforcement

American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union set legislative policy for the upcoming year at the recent AFR/OFU Convention. Each year, organization policy includes “special orders of business” that address recent, current or future issues of significant importance to rural Oklahoma and agriculture at large.

Market manipulation in the beef industry was at the forefront of discussion during the last half of 2019 and will continue to be a major issue through 2020. Four major packing firms control more than 80 percent of all beef slaughtered in the United States. With such a controlling interested in the marketplace, these groups are poised to influence and potentially manipulate U.S. beef prices.

In light of this, the 2020 AFR/OFU Special Orders demands proper enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act: “We demand the enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act in regard to the anti-trust issues surrounding the packing segment of the beef industry in the United States.”

Adopted AFR/OFU policy is truly grassroots—proposed policy begins as resolutions at the local and county level. The appointed state policy committee members that hears the resolutions and crafts policy language are an accomplished and diverse group representing the broadest spectrum possible of the general AFR/OFU membership. Because of this approach, the final policy document represents members’ interests from across Oklahoma.

“The AFR/OFU policy process is a model of grassroots legislative efforts in action,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “Because many of our policies originate from resolutions crafted in our local and county organizations; AFR/OFU members know their voices are heard at the state and national level.”

AFR/OFU Cooperative is a membership services organization established in 1905 as Oklahoma Farmers Union. AFR/OFU provides educational, legislative and cooperative programs across the state and serves as a watchdog for Oklahoma’s family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The organization is actively supportive of the state’s agricultural industry and rural population with membership consisting of farmers actively involved in production agriculture and non-farmers adding their voice in support of AFR/OFU principles.