Leadership in the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are feeling more pressure for the cattle industry to address a number of barriers to profitability for cattle producers. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) was joined by 37 affiliate state cattle organizations in sending a letter urging the leaders to address critical areas of concern in the cattle and beef industry.
Specifically, NCBA pushed Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Rep. David Scott (D-GA-13), and Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA-15) to consider swift Congressional action to
- Expand beef processing capacity
- Broaden labor policies to strengthen the beef processing workforce
- Increase transparency in cattle markets by reauthorizing Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR)
- Support industry efforts to reform “Product of the USA” generic labeling
- Ensure proper oversight of cattle market players by concluding the ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the meatpacking sector
Read the full text of the letter here.
This grassroots letter comes as cattle producers across the country express mounting frustration at the persistent imbalance in the markets. As much of the country lifts pandemic restrictions, consumer demand for U.S. beef remains strong. Producers also have a high supply of cattle to meet demand.
Despite this, producers in the cow-calf and feeder sectors of the industry are facing significant challenges. The profits yielded by high boxed beef prices are not being passed on to the producers supplying live cattle, and the supply chain is being choked by a lack of processing capacity.
“Cattle producers are frustrated, and with good reason. In sale barns and state meetings across the country, we’re hearing the same story of sky-high input costs and intense market volatility. Across the industry, there’s a consensus that market dynamics which consistently squash producer profitability are not sustainable for live cattle or beef producers,” said NCBA President Jerry Bohn.
“As members of Congress create policy that directly impacts business conditions for our producers, it is critical that they consider the grassroots input and firsthand experiences of folks on the ground. Our letter provides that perspective and reinforces how urgently we need something to shift here to strengthen the security of the beef supply chain. NCBA has strong working relationships with members on both sides of the aisle, we have grassroots policy to back the actions we outlined today, and we hope the conversation in Washington around these critical policy areas will progress quickly.”
NCBA’s letter was signed by 37 affiliate state cattlemen’s associations, including the Montana Stockgrowers Association, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.