Senators Continue to Push for Cattle Marketing Transparency

Senators Continue to Push for Cattle Marketing Transparency

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
With your Southeast Regional Ag News, I’m Haylie Shipp.

The U.S. food system, from triumph to falter, has never been more on display than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spotlights can cause reform and that is exactly what is in the works with the recently revised “Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act.”

The bill would establish 5-7 regions in the U.S. where minimum levels of fed cattle purchases must be made through “approved pricing mechanisms.” The bill would also create a publicly available library of marketing contracts.

The four Senators introducing the bill are: Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Even with its bipartisan backing, Grassley says the White House has not signed off…

“I think, with Secretary Vilsack working so closely with us, and a Democrat chairman of the Agriculture Committee working with us, that there’s no doubt that we’ve got something that the president would sign.”

Grassley argues there's never been this much "momentum" for broader price reporting and regional negotiated pricing at the grassroots and in Congress—despite opposition from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the American Farm Bureau…

“We have waited long enough. Cattle producers going broke, while the ‘big four packers’ record the highest profits ever.”

Grassley doesn’t have a hearing date yet but says he and cosponsor Deb Fisher are asking Chair Debbie Stabenow to schedule one, probably likely after the Easter/Passover break.

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