I am writing to all my fellow cattle producers and beef consumers. Are you feeling the pinch with increased expenses and getting basically the same price for your calves since 2016? Or, if you have a load of cattle finished and can’t get a buyer out to even look at them? Tired of watching the equity on your financial statement leave on the truck? Seen a crazy increase in the ribeyes or burger you buy in the grocery store?
This is not by accident, nor will things change unless you take action.
There are two major bills being discussed right now in the Ag. Senate Committee. One is the Rounds/Tester Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL) B2716. This will bring back the label on the beef in the grocery store “Born, raised and processed in the USA.” Right now, there is no such labeling. Next time you’re in the grocery store, look at the meat case and look for yourself. The other is the Grassley/Tester 50/14 B949. This will make the packers buy 50% of their cattle through cash bidding and take the cattle to slaughter in 14 days. This will bring back price discovery in the market through actual cash bidding. The captive supply in the market today is causing the cash seller difficulties to sell their cattle unless taken to the auction. Call Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, (202) 224-3121 tell them you want to see where your beef comes from in the store, tell them you want fair competition in the marketplace on your cattle.
The Dusty Johnson bill that passed is not enough to bring back transparency and competition in the marketplace. I applaud John Thune and Mike Rounds, for they know what is good for their state. The cattle industry is headed just like the hogs went, vertical integration and I’m certain that didn’t help anyone that’s trying to make a living farming or ranching or their communities in Nebraska or South Dakota.