Testifying before the Senate Ag Committee Tuesday - Kansas Livestock Association President-Elect Frank Harper explained that free trade - even with its imperfections - is relatively more equitable than regulated and subsidized markets. Harper - a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Board of Directors - also addressed concerns with the proposed GIPSA rule on livestock and poultry marketing. He stated that NCBA members oppose attempts to narrow the business options or limit the individual freedom of livestock producers to innovate in the management and marketing of their production.
Harper told Committee members that he has invested in genetics that have helped improve the quality and consistency of the calves produced on his operation. To capitalize on that investment - he retains ownership of his calves and feeds them in a commercial feedyard. He then can market those calves through U.S. Premium Beef, Certified Angus Beef and other programs that allow him to earn a premium for his cattle. Harper fears the GIPSA rule would force him to sell cattle for the same average price as everyone else - causing him to lose his investment in superior genetics.