The PJ Tatler

Job Killing Uncertainty Hits Colorado Rancher

Another report on job-killing regulations as Obama touts his so-called jobs bill

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today released “Voices of Recovery: Robbie’s Story,” in which 4th generation Colorado rancher Robbie LeValley underscores the job-killing uncertainty family ranchers face under the Obama Administration’s proposed new regulations of livestock marketing practices.  The proposed agricultural regulation dismantles the proven business model of small ranchers like Mrs. LeValley and is just one of the Obama Administration’s 219 proposed “economically significant” regulations that every year will cost American families and businesses at least $100 million each. Mrs. LeValley delivered her front-line regulatory facts during a Wednesday Oversight Committee hearingto expose the true costs of flawed federal regulations.

In 1995, Mrs. LeValley co-founded Homestead Meats in Hotchkiss, CO, growing the business to support 13 jobs. Homestead produces 1/3 of its beef on-site in its own US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulated packing facility and sells the rest. To stay competitive, Mrs. LeValley allied with a larger packing company to harness their market share: Homestead provides the cattle and the packer provides feedback on the beef quality so Mrs. LeValley can improve her stock. These direct marketing relationships allow small, family-owned ranchers to compete in a global economy.

The proposed Obama administration regulation, however, will force Homestead and its packing partner to post all of their business transactions on the USDA website, justify all deviations from the market price and open up their business relationship to bureaucratic meddling and possible punishment. Worse, the vague wording of the proposed regulation opens up small businesses like Homestead Meats to lawsuits by the USDA, or even a competitor.