Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks Upon Signing Amendments to the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921

September 13, 1976

Members of the House and the Senate, members of the livestock industry, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

American agriculture, as we all know, built on the free enterprise and open market system, has long been the envy of people all over the world. No other nation has an agricultural industry to match American farmers and ranchers when it comes to providing food at reasonable cost.

In recent years, however, we have seen the need for greater protection of livestock producers. The legislation I am about to sign assures that our livestock producers will receive payments for the livestock they sell to meatpackers, even if a packer should suddenly go out of business.

Last year, cattle producers unfortunately lost millions of dollars when one major meatpacker went bankrupt. This legislation will prevent such losses in the future. These constructive amendments to the Packers and Stockyards Act will reassure producers, provide stability in the marketplace, and help to ensure an adequate supply of meat for American consumers.

I am happy to see so many Members of the House and the Senate who were very instrumental in the passage of this legislation. Their bipartisan efforts gave Americans a sensible and a rapid response to a clearly demonstrated need.

Without creating excessive restrictions on any segment of the industry, without creating a superfluous, new government agency, and without significantly modifying our Federal bankruptcy laws, this legislation provides reasonable protection in the best interests of the producers, packers, and consumers. Signing this bill will help to ensure that America's hard-working producers and packers who handle their livestock will continue to provide Americans with a dependable supply of meats unequaled anywhere on this globe.

Note: The President spoke at 2:05 p.m. at a ceremony in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

As enacted, the bill (H.R. 8410) is Public Law 94-410 (90 Stat. 1249).

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks Upon Signing Amendments to the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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