Farm Action: USDA’s Fair and Competitive Livestock and Poultry Markets Proposal Must Restore Farmers’ Rights, Denounce Court’s Harm to Competition Standard

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service released Fair and Competitive Livestock and Poultry Markets, the fourth proposed rule to strengthen enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act). In response, Farm Action issued the following statement, attributable to Sarah Carden, Farm Action’s Research and Policy Development Director:

“We welcome USDA’s steps toward upholding farmers’ rights to hold abusive corporate meatpackers accountable. It’s been the department’s ‘longstanding position’ that it is unnecessary for a farmer to demonstrate industry-wide harm when bringing a claim under the P&S Act. We look forward to analyzing USDA’s proposed rule and ensuring the agency upholds that position. Farmers have long deserved this certainty,” Carden said.

USDA’s recent efforts to strengthen the P&S Act are the result of President Biden’s historic Executive Order on competition, which included many recommendations from Farm Action’s transition plan for the Biden-Harris administration. Following the release of this plan, administration officials thanked Farm Action leadership for “writing the playbook” to improve competition in food and agriculture. 

Farm Action will host an upcoming webinar with contract poultry growers to address the importance of strengthening the P&S Act. This roundtable discussion will allow growers to share the injustices they face in the contract growing system, as USDA moves forward with today’s rulemaking and another recent proposed rule to reform the poultry tournament system.

Media Contact: Emma Nicolas,, 202-450-0094