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STATEMENT OF J. D. BRANSCONE, CHAIRMAN, LIVESTOCK MARKET ING

FORUM

My name is J. D. Branscome of Grenada, Mississippi. Since I

filed a statement with this Subcommittee through my participation in the

hearing on the Thornton Bill, H. R. 9482, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, on

January 18, 1978, my remarks today will be brief,

My interest in the subject of Representative Thornton's Bill is

two-old: I am actively involved in the ownership and operation of Oxford

Livestock Market, Inc., of Oxford, Mississippi, a marketing business sub

ject to the Packers and Stockyards Act.

In addition, I speak today as

Chairmar, of the Livestock Marketing Forum, a subdivision of the Livestock

Laws Reform Commission.

The Livestock Laws Reform Commission is

a foundation which is concerned with the broad range of laws, federal and

state, which affect the marketing sector of the livestock industry and is

sponsored by the Livestock Marketing Association. My appearance today

evidences the continued interest and concern of myself and the industry in

general.

These remarks today stem from my individual interest in a market

ing business, but I believe you will recognize their general applicability:

The Oxford Livestock Market is an independent business whose life

blood is customers.

We have a sale every Monday. Our customers include

both seller and buyer. The sellers, of course, are the producers who sell

their livestock through our business.

We do not have a monopoly. We do not have a territorial franchise.

In fact, there are at least 14 other marketing businesses within a 75 mile

radius of our business. There is no guarantee that a producer who sold

livestock through our business last Monday will utilize our business the

next time he has livestock to sell,

Neither Mr. Jennings, head of the

Packers and Stockyards

AMS, nor Mr. Campbell, the Judicial Officer of

the Department of Agriculture, nor Mr. Brinckmeyer, head of the Rates,

Services and Facilities Branch of the Packers and Stockyards can guarantee

that we will have any customers at all.

Can we guarantee customers? Yes, if we can operate our business

in such a way as to earn the confidence, and respect, and satisfaction of

those who choose to do business with us.

We draw customers or earn their

business.

Who are my regulators? The people that our marketing business

serves and strives to serve.

The producers know this. As do the organi

zations to which the producer belongs, at the local, state, and national level,

such as a Farm Bureau, or a Grange, or a Cattlemen's Association.

Be

cause the producer is an independent businessman, too.

Thus, while the Packers and Stockyards - AMS cannot guarantee

customers to us, the manner in which they apply their authority can

ad

versely affect our ability to earn and serve our customers.

Without satis

fied customers, we have no marketing business. Hence, I cannot see that

the presently applied rate regulation by the Packers and Stockyards - AMS

is applicable to my marketing business in today's livestock industry.

Rather than have the Packers and Stockyards personnel in Washington, D.C.

apply various formulas to our business in Oxford, Mississippi, we need to

be able to utilize a tariff which will fit in with our first and basic objectives

of having satisfied customers.

Thank you for your attention to this particular area of deregulation

and the opportunity to appear before you.

22-929 - 78 - 6

Mr. HIGHTOWER. Thank you, Mr. Sanders and Mr. Branscome. Mr. Koehler, does that conclude your testimony? Mr. KOEHLER. Yes; Mr. Chairman. Mr. HIGHTOWER. Thank you, gentlemen, very much. If you can remain in the room until we have heard from the other witnesses, we would like to call you back for questions.

Our next witness is Mr. Robert B. McCreight, president of the American Stockyards Association, Omaha, Neb.

Mr. McCreight, we are happy to have you. [The prepared statement submitted by Mr. McCreight follows:]

STATSMENT CF ROBERT B, MCCREIGHT

ON BEHALF OF THE

AMERICAN STOCK YARDS ASSOCIATION

H. R. 9482

Mr. Chairman, my name is Robert B. McCreight. I am President of the American Stock Yards Association 805 Livestock Exchange Building, Omaha, Nebraska 68107. The American Stock Yards Association is a national association of major livestock markets or posted stockyards. Most of our members were in business and operating when the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 was enacted. Since then, the rates and charges for stockyard services in effect at the various livestock markets operated by our members are and have been continuously subject to the rate making authority of the Secretary of Agriculture, as set forth and contained in the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, as amended.

We have carefully considered the contents of H. R. 9482, as well
as similar bills. Each of those bills would restructure the
existing rate supervisory authority of the Secretary of Agriculture
with respect to charges for stockyard services by amendment to the
Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, as amended, to only those
stockyards which either
(a) have an annual sales volume in excess of

100,00 animal marketing units, as deter-
mined by the Secretary of Agriculture; or

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Either of these proposed formulae present certain practical problems, it seems to us. For example, let us assume that during the calendar month of November, a livestock market obviously exceeds a volume of 100,000 animal marketing units, or 20,000 animal marketing units, as the case may be. Precisely

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