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On October 7, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Clarification of Treatment of Electronic Sales of Livestock Act of 2016, which not only modernized the way livestock sales are handled but also brought much needed clarity to the livestock marketing sector by making technical changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. The new Act amends the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 to expand the definition of “market agency” to include any person who engages in the business of buying or selling livestock, on a commission or other fee basis, through the use of online, video, or other electronic methods. Because the current law only authorizes he use of checks or wire transfers to settle livestock sales, the new Act also permits electronic funds transfers and other expeditious payment methods to be used as options for meeting prompt payment requirements for livestock purchases, including “wire, electronic funds transfer, or any other expeditious method determined appropriate by the Secretary.” These changes ensure that farmers and ranchers selling through online and video auctions are provided similar protections as those who sell at a fixed-facility livestock market.

Sprouse Shrader Smith’s Agriculture and Agribusiness attorneys have decades of experience handling matters involving the Packers and Stockyards Administration and assisting clients in navigating its rules and regulations. In addition, our attorneys have represented parities in all aspects of the cattle industry from individuals, ranchers, and cow calf operations, to feedyards and financial institutions.

John Massouh specializes in Agriculture and Agribusiness issues and has spoken at and attended numerous Texas Cattle Feeders Association functions and meetings on various livestock related issues and represented clients in nationally known issues in the cattle and agricultural industries.