Lawmakers on the House Agriculture Committee held another hearing on livestock market issues, hearing from producers, packers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other lawmakers. Scott Bennett, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director, says the hearing included testimony from Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

"It's the first time in modern history that a sitting Senator has come across the Capitol to the House side to testify in front of a committee. Senator Grassley has an effort around mandatory minimum negotiated trade and he plead his case in front of the committee," Bennett said. "We also had Secretary Vilsack discuss what USDA is doing in regard to the livestock industry, including the $500 million for small and regional packing capacity expansion."

Bennett says the hearing included a discussion on anticipated Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration pending rules.

"There are three anticipated rules from USDA. One will involve undue preference, one will involve competition and the third, that is relatively new, will involve the tournament pay system in poultry," Bennett said. "Secretary Vilsack, in his testimony, said we could anticipate those rules by the end of this year."

Farm Bureau is working on other issues for livestock farmers as well.

"We have been working on behalf of farmers and ranchers for quite some time regarding the extension and authorization of Livestock Mandatory Reporting," Bennett said. "We have also been advocating for the new swine inspection system so that it can operate for pork processors as it has for many years."