Cattle market transparency bill introduced in House

U.S. Representatives Emanuel Cleaver and Vicky Hartzler, both from Missouri, have introduced legislation in the House that would increase transparency and price discovery within the cattle market.

The Optimizing the Cattle Market Act of 2021 would require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish regional negotiated cash and grid trade, mandate that packers report the number of cattle scheduled to be delivered two weeks in advance and create a contract library.

Hartzler tells Brownfield it’s ‘disconcerting’ that nearly all meat processing is controlled by four packers.

“We want to empower our cattlemen to have more information so that they can negotiate better prices,” she said. “Because it just doesn’t feel fair to have the packers reaping such great profits and yet our cattlemen [are] struggling here out in rural America.”

Hartzler said this bill has added provisions from legislation she sponsored last year like a cost-benefit analysis by USDA to determine if cattle producers are making more money and providing training for producers on how to use the contract library.

Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins says change is needed for cattle producers and this legislation pushes the discussion in Washington D.C.

“The introduction of this legislation that mirrors legislation that’s been introduced in the Senate is critical, absolutely critical, to getting members of Congress to really take notice and focus in on the issues facing those of us in the cattle industry,” he said.

Companion bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Nebraska’s Deb Fischer and Oregon’s Ron Wyden.

The bipartisan legislation is endorsed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Livestock Marketing Association, Missouri Cattlemen, and Missouri farm Bureau.

Vicky Hartzler Interview
Garrett Hawkins Interview
  • Why are there only 4 packers that control the USA MEAT MARKET, Why aren’t there 500 packers, I bet our gov. has regulations that stop small packers from growing. Many small butcher shops are restricted by regs to the point they give up.We provide funding for other nations why
    VICKY you need to stay in your office & not run for senate. We don’t need a new person to start learning how to work in the house, when you have the experience & leadership we need to take back control of the house. I will not vote for you in the senate until we get back strong control of the house.

    • How silly your response. The reason there are four super-packers is because they have padded all of the politicians’ pockets and lobby them continuously, so that all legislation and operational directives benefit those same four at the detriment to small farmers like myself, and perhaps you too. It’s like the NRA has taken our money forever to safegurd the 2nd amendment. You know what? People do not want to do away with the 2nd amendment….that’s ridiculous. What happened is that the gun manufacturers also poured your dues money into lobbying and paying off politicians so that they could make billions more off of those of us who paid to allow them to do that. It’s so mind blowing that so many people around us act like lemmings or zombies following one directionless leader and not only that, continually pay him money, like he’s really representing our rights. HaHa. He’s representing his right to screw us all out of our money and ruin our democratic freedom at the same time. If it’s called woke to understand truth and facts about our situation, then call me woke. Time for you to get out of your slumber. Oh by the way, that climate change you have denied for about 40 years…….yeah, you know the one that is giving us droughts and floods and tornados and all sorts of crazy weather which has allowed pests and bacteria and virus and fungi and all sorts of shit that has attacked our animals and our crops to spread all over the planet…… you think it’s time to admit this other big lie? Take a minute to think independently for yourself for a minute, please.

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