Dudley Butler steps down from USDA


January 2012 – Dudley Butler, the Administrator of the USDA Grain Inspection and Packers and Stockyards Administration stepped down yesterday. Becky and I – and the rest of the folks at RAFI – wanted to take a moment to say “thank you.” Under Dudley’s administration, GIPSA released a rule that gives contract poultry farmers some of the rights for which they have been fighting for decades. Because Congress severely limited the regulations that GIPSA could finalize, the rule was not all that we had hoped for, but it still represents an important step towards fairness and balance in an industry that has little of either. Dudley has been a long-time ally of family farmers. Before taking the post at the USDA, he had been a friend of contract poultry growers for over 30 years – fighting for farmers in court and working with RAFI to get rid of binding mandatory arbitration. Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack told the AP that the USDA will continue Dudley’s work for a fairer industry:
“President Obama and I believe fair and competitive markets are critical to the success of American agriculture, and Dudley has worked tirelessly to advance this cause. USDA looks forward to continuing this work on behalf of our nation’s producers,” Vilsack said in an e-mail to the AP.”President Obama and I believe fair and competitive markets are critical to the success of American agriculture, and Dudley has worked tirelessly to advance this cause. USDA looks forward to continuing this work on behalf of our nation’s producers,” Vilsack said.
We wish Dudley well, and we look forward to working with GIPSA going forward, as we join contract farmers in their continuing struggle to balance the power in agriculture and get the fair treatment that they deserve.