House Ag Chairman David Scott (D-GA) announced this week that he will be introducing legislation to help small family farmers and ranchers and address the national crisis in our nation’s beef supply chain.
“What has been missing from the conversation is help for the very beginning of our food supply chain, which is our nation’s small family farmers and ranchers,” said Scott.
Chairman Scott noted he was very disheartened to learn that the cattle industry has lost an average of 17,000 cattle ranchers per year, during a hearing examining beef market consolidation earlier this year.
According to USDA, the average beef cattle herd is 44 head, and operations of 100 or fewer beef cattle account for 90 percent of all farms and 44 percent of the beef cattle inventory.
To that end, Scott says he will be introducing a bill to provide small cattle farmers and ranchers with relief and long-term opportunities to increase their market power.
“First, my bill creates a new program that strengthens the Federal safety net and makes insurance products work better for small cattle farmers and ranchers, both in terms of coverage and accessibility,” said Scott.
The second pillar establishes a grant program at USDA to help small farmers and ranchers and producer-owned cooperatives to undertake innovative business initiatives.
Scott added, “By developing more direct-to-consumer and direct-to-institution markets, my legislation will give small farmers and ranchers more control over where they sell their cattle or meat products and provide them with opportunities to add value to their products and increase their profitability.”
Chairman Scott plans to work with colleagues in Congress and the House Agriculture Committee on this very important piece of legislation.
US Ag Committee – 2022