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American Corn Growers Association questions why commodity groups stand with agribusiness firms to oppose competition title

In a letter addressed to Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Keith Dittrich, president of the American Corn Growers Association, reiterated his organizations' strong support for a competition title in the next farm bill. Mr. Dittrich cited a recent University of Nebraska survey that included competition questions. In that survey over 70 percent of farm households supported controls on packer feeding of livestock and a moratorium on mergers and acquisitions by large agribusiness firms. "Obviously these survey results exemplify the depth of concern about competition issues in rural America," stated Dittrich.

The ACGA called into question the recent letters of opposition sent to members of the Senate Agriculture Committee regarding a competition title due for markup this week. "While we understand the opposition by agribusiness firms who will be affected by these changes, we question why numerous commodity groups have sided with these firms to oppose the competition title," stated Dittrich. "Farmers and ranchers from all across this country are demanding open and competitive markets and Chairman Harkin's competition title addresses these concerns. We're appalled by the opposition to this title by groups who represent farmers. These groups seemed to have failed to hear the concern on concentration and competition in the countryside," concluded Dittrich.

ACGA urges farmers to immediately call their Senators and farm or commodity organizations that represent them, and ask for their position on a new competition title in the next farm bill.