I've recently learned (thanks to a little birdie from Capitol Hill) that Tyson, Smithfield, and pals are on the rampage this morning, circulating memos and e-mails against two important livestock amendments to be offered today on the Farm Bill. These amendments -- the Grassley competition amendment and the Tester amendment -- would help make it easier for independent livestock producers to get their animals to market and would prohibit some of the discriminatory practices that the big meat packers have used to shut independent producers out. Big Meat is, unsurprisingly, very unexcited about the prospect. Tyson and Co. are rooting instead for an amendment to be offered by Senator Lincoln that would significantly weaken the good language on livestock that was added by Senator Harkin when the agriculture committee debated the bill this summer.
We can't let Big Meat win the day. These amendments will be offered today, so calls are needed immediately. Please call your Senators -- (202) 224-3121 and ask for them, or look their numbers up here -- and ask them to vote FOR the Grassley competition amendment, FOR the Tester amendment, and AGAINST the Lincoln substitute amendment. 5 minutes, right now. Let's do it.
More information is available from the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition here (.doc).