TOPEKA (AP) — The Kansas agriculture community has been divided over a decision by the Trump administration to block new livestock rules from taking effect.
A division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture called the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration had proposed the rules that were scheduled to go into effect Thursday, the Lawrence Journal-World reported .
The new rules were intended to protect poultry producers from unfair commercial practices by food processing giants like Tyson Foods. They also would have made it easier for individual poultry producers to lodge complaints against large poultry companies for unfair practices.
Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, praised the decision to block the rules last week.
“The Obama administration spent the better part of a decade ignoring the calls from farmers, ranchers and agriculture economists warning of the billion-dollar blow this rule would have levied against American agriculture,” he said.
Roberts said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s actions “demonstrate the Trump administration’s commitment to promoting economic prosperity and reducing regulatory burdens in rural America.”
But some groups disapproved of the decision.
“I am disappointed. I’m not surprised. I don’t think anyone is truly surprised. But yes, we’re very disappointed,” said Don Stull, vice president of the Organization for Competitive Markets. “Sen. Roberts has sided with multinational agribusiness corporations to the detriment of farmers and ranchers.”
The U.S. and Kansas Farm Bureau organizations, which normally oppose federal regulations on their industries, said they hope the USDA continues to work on rules to protect independent producers.