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Lawmakers look to make changes to the meatpacking industry

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 7:21 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in Congress are looking to make some changes in how the meatpacking industry operates in this country because of the alleged influence the industry has over farmers and markets. One change would have the USDA put together new rules that would change the way poultry processors pay chicken farmers and make it easier for those farmers to file disputes against those processors. In the beef sector, lawmakers want laws that would require beef processors to buy more cattle on the open market and set minimal regional prices. Some senators have also introduced a bill that would appoint a special investigator to enforce meatpacking regulations and look into potential anti-competitive conduct. Congressional hearings have already started on these issues.

Republican members on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee want to know why the Trump Administration’s Waters of the USA Rules were pulled by the Biden Administration. They want both the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to explain their reasoning for that decision. The senators are complaining that the current Administration is not being transparent on the issue and has not given any explanation to back up their claims that the Trump policy caused significant environmental damage or ongoing danger to our domestic water supply.

A western Wisconsin family will be recognized for their long term dedication to breeding top dairy cows. The Bob and Kay Zwald family, operators of Bomaz, Inc. of Hammond will be put in the Dairy Shrine hall of fame this year following an induction ceremony at the dairy Shrine banquet at this year’s World Dairy Expo in Madison. The Zwalds have bred 121 Gold medal Dams, 80 Dams of Merit, 11 Gold Medal Sires and over 14 hundred cows that have produced over 100 thousand pounds of milk. Following the banquet, the Zwalds portrait will hang in the National Shrine’s Hall of Fame and Museum at Hoard’s dairyman in Fort Atkinson.

The National Holstein Breeders Convention will wrap up today in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with some Wisconsin youth taking home some top awards. The Polk county Senior judging team won their competition in the Dairy Quiz Bowl while the Wood county Junior team finished 5th in their competition.

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