Vilsack says executive order will cut through Washington bureaucracy for farmers

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the executive order from the Biden administration draws a clear line what constitutes unfair competition in the ag sector.

Speaking in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Friday Vilsack said, “We can move the bureaucracy more quickly because they understand that it’s not just secretarial priority, it’s not just a Cattlemen’s priority,” Vilsack said, “and in Washington, that makes a difference.”

The executive order focuses on retooling the Packers and Stockyards Act, a better definition for “Product of the USA” meat labeling and a focus on large ag company consolidation. 

Vilsack says the administration wants to make the burden of proving a violation is more producer balanced. “When you say to prove a violation, you have to prove that the entire industry has been impacted, well, that’s virtually an impossible standard to meet, ok? So what we’re going to do is say, ‘That’s not the standard, should not be the standard,’ to give producers a fair shake.”

Vilsack made his comments after announcing half-a-billion dollars would be available through USDA for small meat processors.

Radio Iowa contributed to this story.

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