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Acting GIPSA administrator named; R-CALF decries lack of support for Butler

In the wake of USDA Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administrator J. Dudley Butler's announcement Thursday that he will resign, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced late in the day that Alan Christian, deputy administrator for the packers and stockyards program, will serve as acting administrator for GIPSA until an administrator is appointed.

Meanwhile, R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard issued a news release praising Butler for his efforts and expressing disappointment that neither the Obama administration nor Congress had supported him.

Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA CEO
Bill Bullard
“Dudley Butler was appointed as the administrator of GIPSA to restore competition to our U.S. livestock markets that, through decades of neglect, have been all but captured by a handful of corporate meatpackers,” Bullard said. “His monumental and historic job was to reverse the ongoing and alarming exodus of independent livestock producers from our rural landscape -- an exodus that is causing the hollowing out of rural America.”

“Mr. Butler did exactly what he was appointed to do by proposing a rule that would have restricted the corporate meatpackers’ ability to exercise abusive market power against independent producers,” Bullard continued.

“However, the political pushback by the corporate meatpackers proved too great and the administration that appointed Mr. Butler lost its resolve to continue supporting the key provisions in the proposed rule that would have actually restored competition. Those key provisions are now dead.

“R-CALF USA greatly appreciates Mr. Butler’s historic effort and is deeply disappointed that neither the administration nor Congress had the fortitude or integrity to stand behind him when the corporate meatpackers turned up the heat,” Bullard said.

“We respect Mr. Butler’s decision to step down as we would not expect anyone whose hands have been tied to pursue an exercise in futility. The urgent need to restore competition to our shrinking livestock markets remains and R-CALF USA will continue fighting with the same level of commitment and integrity that Mr. Butler exhibited when he embarked on his pro-competition agenda. Mr. Butler established a strong foundation for restoring competition and we intend to keep building upon that foundation until the corporate meatpackers’ abusive control over our industry is eliminated.”