WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with Bradley Beken and Beken Livestock Inc. (Beken) of Weimer, Texas, on Aug. 23, 2023, for alleged violations of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. Under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Beken waived its right to a hearing and paid a penalty of $9,000.
An investigation by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) revealed that in 21 transactions between Sept. 2, 2020, and Dec. 18, 2020, Beken failed to pay five markets timely for 368 head of livestock totaling $159,880. Payments ranged from one to seven days late.
The P&S Act requires subject entities to issue the full payment for livestock by the close of the first business day following purchase and transfer of possession. Failure to timely pay for livestock purchases is an unfair trade practice and a violation of the P&S Act.
The P&S Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $33,896 per violation against any person after notice and opportunity for hearing on the record. USDA may offer alleged violators the option of waiving their right to a hearing and enter into a stipulation agreement to resolve alleged violations quickly.
The P&S Act is a fair trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat and poultry industries.
For further information about the Packers and Stockyards Act, contact Dora Malykin, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (202) 720-7051 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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