Packers and Stockyards


The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 (“PSA” or “Act”), 7 U.S.C. §§ 181-229, is designed to assure effective competition and integrity in livestock, meat, and poultry markets. It was enacted in response to concerns that the “Big Five” large meat packers- Swift & Company, Armour & Company, Cudahy Packing Company, Wilson & Company, and Morris & Company- had engaged in anti-competitive practices that had a deleterious effect on producers and consumers. Read the full overview.

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.

Major Statutes

Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, as amended, 7 U.S.C. §§ 181-229
The Agriculture Marketing Act, as amended
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022


Preserving Trust Benefits Under the Packers and Stockyards Act 9 C.F.R. (Final Rule 2023)
Packers and Stockyards Regulations 9 C.F.R. Part 201
Packers and Stockyards Regulations 9 C.F.R. Part 203
Packers and Stockyards Regulations 9 C.F.R. Part 206
Livestock Mandatory Reporting
Rules of Practice Governing Formal Adjudicatory Proceedings, 7 C.F.R. §§ 1.130-1.151

Case Law

Case Law Index for Packers and Stockyards Act. (Cases for the Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal begin at September 1921 and lower court decisions at January 1985.)

Administrative Law Decisions

Fact Sheet: Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Action Plan
USDA Office of Administrative Law Judges Agriculture Decisions Publication
USDA National Appeals Division
Center published Judicial Officer’s Decisions

Center Research Publications

Where’s the Beef?: Legal and Economic Considerations for Direct Beef Sales (Lashmet et al. 2022, updated 2023)
Meat Processing Laws in the United States (E. Rumley, Wilkerson et al; 2020)
Issue Brief: Organization for Competitive Markets Seeks Judicial Review of USDA’s GIPSA Rule Withdrawal (Lizano, E. Rumley, 2018)
Outline of GIPSA’s Proposed Rule Changes – Workshop Handout (Center Staff, 2010)
GIPSA’s Proposed Rule Changes: What Are They? How Might They Affect You? How Can You Affect Them – PowerPoint Presentation (Center Staff, 2010)
GIPSA’s Proposed Rule Changes: A Presentation for Livestock and Poultry Producers – Webinar Recording (Center Staff, 2010)
The Farmer’s Legal Guide to Producer Marketing Associations (O’Brien, Hamilton & Luedeman, 2005)
Market Concentration, Horizontal Consolidation, and Vertical Integration in the Hog and Cattle Industries: Taking Stock of the Road Ahead (Pittman, 2005)
Developments in Horizontal Consolidation and Vertical Integration (O’Brien, 2005)
Concentration Concerns in the American Livestock Sector (Lauck, 2004)
An Overview of the Packers and Stockyards Act (Kelley, 2003)

Congressional Research Service Reports

Reports – published and made available by CRS beginning in 2017
Subjects- published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:

Animal Agriculture
Trade Regulation and Antitrust

Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Packers and Stockyards:

Agribusiness Corporations
Animals – Animal Rights
Corporate Farming (Restrictions on Corporate Farming/Family Farm Preservation)
Farmer-Processor Bargaining – Production Contract
Livestock & Packers & Stockyards
Trade Regulation and Antitrust
Veterinary Law

Reference Resources

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Hogs and Pork (2022)
Cattle and Beef (2023)
Poultry and Eggs (2023)
Sheep, Lamb & Mutton (2022)
The Economic Organization of U.S. Broiler Production (MacDonald, 2008)
Economic and Structural Relationships in U.S. Hog Production (McBride & Key, 2003)
Structural Change in U.S. Chicken and Turkey Slaughter (Ollinger, MacDonald & Madison, 2000)
Consolidation in U.S. Meatpacking (MacDonald et al. 1999)

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Transparency in Poultry Grower Contracting and Tournaments (USDA, 2022)
Fair Trade Practices Program
Packers and Stockyards Enforcement
Regulated Entities Under the Packers and Stockyards Act
Payment Protection
PSA Forms
PSA Publications
PSA Annual Reports
Press Releases
Swine Contract Library Information
Frequently Asked Questions About Regulated Entities
Marketing Practices and Financial Performance of Local Food Producers
2020 Annual Report Packers and Stockyards Program
2019 Annual Report Packers and Stockyards Program (GIPSA-USDA, 2019)
2018 Annual Report Packers and Stockyards Program (GIPSA-USDA, 2018)
2016 Annual Report Packers and Stockyards Program (GIPSA-USDA, 2017)
2013 Annual Report Packers and Stockyards Program
2012 Annual Report Packers and Stockyards Program (GIPSA-USDA, 2013)
Assessment of the Livestock and Poultry Industries Fiscal Year 2007 Report 
GIPSA Livestock and Meat Marketing Study (Prepared by RTI International for GIPSA, 2007)
Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, 2000 in Review and 2001 Outlook
Concentration in the Beef Packing Industry (1996)

Congressional Resources

Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act (Proposed, Introduced April 2023)
Expanding Local Meat Processing Act of 2023 (Proposed, Introduced March 2023)
Strengthening Local Processing Act of 2023 (Proposed, Introduced February 2023)
Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity and Stockyards Act (Proposed, October 2022)
Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act (Proposed, Introduced June 2021)
Additional Data Analysis Could Enhance Monitoring of U.S. Cattle Market (2018)
Scope of Sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act (2017)
Government Accountability Office Reports & Testimonies
Economic Models of Cattle Prices: How USDA Can Improve Models to Explain Cattle Prices (2002)
Packers and Stockyards Programs: USDA’s Response to Studies on Concentration in the Livestock Industry (1997)
Packer Marketing Concentration and Cattle Prices (1990)


New Legislation Introduced to Close Loopholes in Packers and Stockyards (RAFI, 2023)
USDA Proposes New Rule for Transparency in the Service of Fair and Competitive Markets for Poultry Growers (USDA, Green, 2022)
Protecting Livestock Producers and Chicken Growers (Kades, 2022)
Eight Questions You Might Not Know You Have About the Packers and Stockyards Act (RAFI, 2021)
100 years of the Packers and Stockyards Act: Modernization and enforcement (Gabel, 2021)
Reexamining the Packers and Stockyards Act: Recent Congressional and USDA Attention on the Livestock Industry (Boswell and Jockel, 2021)
Rules aim to strengthen Packers and Stockyards Act (Shearer, 2021)
Open Markets: Agriculture Department Should Use Packers and Stockyards Act to Protect Farmers from Meatpacker Abuse (Open Markets, 2020)
An Expansive Leap: The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s Unjustified Attempt to Grow the Packers and Stockyards Act (Berger and Bowler, 2017)
Concentration and Consolidation in the U.S. Food Supply Chain: The Latest Evidence and Implications for Consumers, Farmers, and Policymakers (Saitone and Sexton, 2017)
Economics of Agricultural Contract Grower Protection Legislation (Wu and MacDonald, 2015)
Concentration in Beef Packing and Slaughter Cattle Pricing (Love, Capps, Jr., Williams, TAMRC, 2009)
Market Structure Issues in the Livestock Industry (Taylor, Auburn U., 2007)
The Dilemma of Contracting: Risk Management or Risky Business? (FLAG CLE seminar, 2006)
Contract Poultry Growers Have Rights Under Federal Law (FLAG, 2005)

Additional Resources

2023 Draft Merger Guidelines (DOJ and FTC)
FACT SHEET: The Biden-Harris Action Plain for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain (The White House, Statements and Releases)
Packers and Stockyards Posts (Ag & Food Law Blog)
AMS Organizational Chart