Perhaps it hasn't been getting as much attention recently, but the nation's producers are still waiting to hear what will happen with USDA's proposed rule on livestock marketing, the so-called GIPSA rule. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA is working to finalize the rule, and says it's been a healthy process.
"You know you have to be willing to open things up to scrutiny and analysis, you learn a lot from doing that, you learn what works, what doesn't work, what could work, what needs to be adjusted, what needs to be modified," Vilsack said. "It's obviously been something that people are passionate about on both sides. At the end of the day what this needs to be about is fair and balanced market opportunities of all sizes to basically make it. We want folks to live, work and raise their families in these rural communities, we want them to have a lot of different opportunities. That's why we're focused on a fair market here in the United States and we're focused on tremendous expansion of exports."
While Vilsack says more details will be available in the near future, he's not promising any specific timeline.
"There is an elaborate process that you have to go through not only internally within the USDA but also within the interagency process and that takes time, so I don't really want to pin myself down to a time," Vilsack said. "I will tell you we are working on this and we understand that people are waiting for some indication of where this is headed and we appreciate the fact that it has been a while, but I hope they understand that we are taking the comments very seriously and we want to do the very best job of making decisions about the next step in this process."
It's been more than a year since USDA released the proposed GIPSA rule.