Market Agency Selling Livestock on Commission (SOC) or Stockyard Owner

A market agency selling livestock on commission sells livestock to the public on a commission basis.  A stockyard furnishes stockyard services at a facility fitting the definition of a stockyard under the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act.

The following lists include certain regulated entities subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act (Act) - those that are required to maintain a bond. The lists and bond amounts are current as of the date listed on the linked file. Once you open a file you can use the "Find" option under the "Edit" menu to locate specific regulated entities. The listed business addresses are most often mailing addresses. Please contact a Packers and Stockyards Division (PSD) regional office with any questions concerning these lists.

National Tariff Listing for SOC Markets

Listing of Registered and Bonded Market Agencies Selling Livestock on Commission

Market Agency Selling Livestock on Commission and Stockyard Owner Responsibilities

The actions below are some basic responsibilities for market agencies selling livestock on commission and stockyard owners. Review the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as Amended and Supplemented, and the Regulations issued there under, for a complete list of legal responsibilities.

Register

Every person operating or desiring to operate as a market agency to sell livestock for others shall apply for registration under the Act.

In order to register, complete the following:

File Bonds

Market agencies selling livestock on commission must select clause 1 on the bond or bond equivalent form. The size of the bond or bond equivalent is based on the volume of business, generally an average of two days business.  The minimum bond is $10,000.

Establish and Maintain Custodial (Trust) Accounts

Every market agency engaged in selling livestock on commission or an agency basis must establish and maintain a separate bank account designated as “Custodial Account for Shippers’ Proceeds." This is a special trust account designed to ensure payment to consignors. PSD regularly audits this account, and Section 201.43 of the Regulations governs how it is handled. The account is a fiduciary account. The market must deposit all proceeds from the sale of livestock into this account and use this account to pay all consignors of livestock. It is for the transfer of money between the buyer and seller of livestock only. Proceeds from non-livestock items, such as tack, rabbits, chickens, etc., cannot go through this account.

Post Tariff

All stockyard owners and market agencies selling livestock on commission at a posted stockyard must publicly post their schedule of rates and charges for stockyard services. A signed copy of these rates and charges must also be filed with PSD.  Any changes to these schedules must be publicly posted for at least 10 days prior to the new rates becoming effective.

Remit Funds Promptly

Each market agency selling livestock on commission must transmit or deliver to each consignor the net proceeds received from the sale and a true written account of each sale. Both are due to the consignor before the close of the next business day following the sale of the consigned livestock. The account of sale should show the number, weight, and price of each kind of animal sold, the date of sale, the commission, yardage, and other lawful charges, and such other facts as may be necessary to complete the account and show fully the true nature of the transaction. The parties to a transaction may agree in writing prior to the transaction to effect payment in a manner other than previously described.

Maintain Accurate Scales

All scales used by those subject to the Act to weigh livestock, livestock carcasses, or feed for the purposes of purchase, sale, acquisition, payment, or settlement, must be installed, maintained, and operated to ensure accurate weights.  Follow the applicable requirements in the National Institute of Standards and Technology   Handbook 44, "Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices."  You must have a competent agency test all scales you use for accuracy at least twice during each calendar year.  The first test must occur between January 1 and June 30.  The second test must occur between July 1 and December 31. You must have a minimum of 120 days between these two tests. Except when you use such scales on a limited seasonal basis (during any continuous 8-month period) for purposes of purchase, sale, acquisition, payment or settlement.  In that case, you may use such scales within an 8-month period following each test. File the certification form from the competent testing agency showing results of the required test with the  PSD regional office covering your State. Such scales must be equipped with a printing device that will record weight values on a scale ticket or other document. Any scale known to be inaccurate may not be used.

Weigh Accurately

Only competent, trained weighmasters should weigh livestock. All weighmasters must read and sign an Acknowledgment Form certifying that they have read the regulations related to weighing livestock or poultry. The weighmaster should ensure that the scale would provide accurate weights prior to weighing. The weighmaster should keep the scale balanced at zero at all times.  To do so, (1) check the zero balance every 15 minutes or 15 drafts, and (2) after every draft of more that half the scale capacity.  (3) Record the time of zero balance check and (4) weigh each draft of livestock to the nearest scale division. The weighmaster should (5) favor neither the buyer nor the seller; (6) print a scale ticket only while livestock is on scale and scale has settled; (7) complete the scale ticket; (8) allow persons having a legitimate interest in a draft of livestock to observe the weighing; and (9) reweigh a draft of livestock immediately if requested.

Use Fair Business Practices

It is unlawful for any market agency selling livestock on commission or stockyard owner to engage in or use any unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practice or device.

Maintain Accurate Records

Every stockyard owner and market agency shall keep such accounts, records, and memoranda as fully and correctly disclose all transactions involved in his/her business, including the true ownership of such business and any livestock. The records must by maintained for two full years, or longer if instructed by the AMS Administrator.

File Annual Reports

Every market agency selling livestock on commission and stockyard owner must file an annual report with PSD. Each of these entities will complete and file form P&SP-3003 (pdf) on a yearly basis. View the P&SP-3003 instructions (pdf) for information about how to complete the form and where to send it.

Permit Inspection of Business Records and Facilities

Upon proper request, each market agency selling livestock on commission and stockyard must permit authorized representatives of the Secretary of Agriculture to enter its place of business during normal business hours and provide records pertaining to its business subject to the Act for examination.

Post Stockyard

After the Secretary has given public notice, any livestock facility deemed to fall into the definition of a stockyard under the P&S Act (7 U.S.C. 202) must post copies of the public notice in the stockyard. The stockyard must maintain a copy of the posting notice on public display until the facility no longer serves the function as a posted stockyard and it is formally deposted.

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