Tester's Legislation Passes Senate, Will Modernize Livestock Auctions Across Montana

BARN CARD Act Heading to the Presidentâ??s Desk

(Big Sandy, Mont.) -Senator Jon Tester’s BARN CARD (Bringing Auctions & Ranchers New Credit And Reliable Debit) Act passed the Senate today and is headed to the President’s desk for signature. This bill updates the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 to allow for electronic transaction at livestock auctions. Tester introduced the bipartisan legislation to beef up support for Montana producers.

“I’ve seen it firsthand, life on the farm and ranch is changing in the 21st century. Technology is critically important for agriculture in the 21st century. We have combines that drive themselves, and we see the role technology plays in the markets everyday-it’s time that our livestock auction laws reflect the world we live in,” Tester said. “I am pleased to see my common-sense bipartisan legislation pass to help bring livestock auctions into the 21st century.”

Tester’s BARN CARD Act will explicitly allow folks to purchase livestock using debit and credit cards. Current law only permits two forms of payment: checks and wire transfers.

Additionally, the bill clarifies that folks that use online and video livestock auctions are granted the same legal protections as folks that use physical auction locations.

These changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act are supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, Livestock Marketing Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers Union, National Livestock Producers Association, and United States Cattlemen’s Association.

“Cattle is big business here in Montana,” said Joe Goggins of Billings. “While our industry has advanced over the years, the federal rules on livestock marketing have not kept up with the times. This legislation makes common-sense changes that helps bring the law into the 21st Century. We appreciate the support of the Senate in advancing the legislation and Sen. Tester’s leadership as an original sponsor of the bill.”

Goggins is Vice President of Vermilion Ranch Co., Public Auction Yards, Billings Livestock Commission Co., Western Livestock Auction, and Northern Livestock Video Auction based in Billings, Montana.

Tester is an avid supporter of Montana’s livestock industry, recently he called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase transparency and address safety concerns with the importation of Brazilian beef. Also, Tester applauded China’s recent decision to lift their ban on the import of U.S. beef following his continued efforts on the issue.

The text of the BARN CARD Act is available HERE.