During the National Farmers Union 103rd anniversary convention in Lexington, Ky., last week, the producers passed a focused policy initiative in hopes of ensuring all agricultural markets are competitive, accessible, transparent and fair.

"We need comprehensive agricultural competition and concentration policies to restore balance in the marketplace," said NFU president Dave Frederickson. "Independent producers cannot succeed in the absence of protection from unfair and anti-competitive practices."

A recent NFU-commissioned study by the University of Missouri Department of Rural Sociology outlined the alarming unchecked trend of increased concentration in domestic agricultural markets. The study showed that the concentration ratio for the top four firms has increased in all commodity sectors except for ethanol production.

Specifically, the delegates urged Congress to limit the depressing impact of captive supply; to overhaul the Department of Justice antitrust division, U.S. Agriculture Department market reporting provisions and the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act authority; and to implement a national ban on packer ownership of livestock and mandatory country-of-origin food labeling for all food products.

Source: Association Release