California livestock marketers attend LMA D.C.

Taylor HillmanGeneral

Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) members and staff traveled to Washington D.C. for the 10th annual LMA D.C. Fly In. Approximately 65 people met with leaders in D.C. on issues that matter to the livestock marketing industry.

Discussion centered on the long-term need to update Packers and Stockyards Act requirements and LMA’s current efforts to develop an collaborative, industry-based solution and pursue changes.

David and Tina Macedo, Tulare Sales Yard; Alana McGill, Newman Stockyards; and Cindy Tews and Aspen Eaton, Fresno Livestock Commission, attended the D.C. Fly In. as California delegates.

In addition to meetings on Capitol Hill, attendees also visited with Larry Mitchell, USDA Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Administrator; Susan Keith, USDA GIPSA Deputy Administrator; Brett Offutt, USDA GIPSA Director of Policy and Litigation; and Neil Hammerschmidt, USDA Animal Disease Traceability program manager.

During the Fly In, the LMA hosted two legislative staff briefings to educate attendees on the livestock marketing industry. Dan Harris, LMA President and owner of Holton Livestock Exchange (KS); David Macedo, LMA Government and Industry Affairs Committee chair and owner, president of Tulare Sales Yard, Inc. (CA); and Jim Akers, LMA Government and Industry Affairs Committee member and Chief Operating Officer, Blue Grass Livestock Marketing Group (KY), spoke to attendees about their businesses, how their businesses have changed over the years, and how markets are regulated. The briefings featured Brandon Neely, 2015 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, auctioning pies to legislative staff as a simulation of the process of order buyers purchasing livestock in an auction market.

“Livestock market owners operate very different businesses than the dozen terminal stockyards that existed in major cities when the Packers and Stockyard Act was written in 1921. Changes to the industry structure, more access to information, modern banking, and technology such as online marketing of livestock are not contemplated by the current law and regulations,” said Chelsea Good, LMA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs. “The Fly In was an important step toward educating decision makers in D.C. about the marketing industry, changes over the years, and the need to modernize requirements.”