Governor Vilsack is calling on legislators to pass a bill which would force meatpackers to reveal the prices they’re paying on secret contracts for hogsand cattle. Farmers who do not raise livestock on contract for a meatpacker contend they’re paid significantly less when they take their hogs and cattle to market. Governor Vilsack says the “open and honest” disclosure of packer prices could help independent farmers win a better price for theirlivestock. Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge agrees with Vilsack, but republican legislators are reluctant. Representative Sandra Greiner of Keotasays packers threaten to close their Iowa plants if the state makes the move. South Dakota’s legislature has passed a manditory price reporting bill and it awaits the Governor’s signature. Minnesota and Nebraska legislators are considering the matter, too.
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