Kanas Ag Connection

Senators Reintroduce Cattle Market Reform Bill

Kansas Ag Connection

U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Thursday introduced the bipartisan Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2023.

The legislation would restore transparency and accountability in the cattle market by establishing regional cash minimums and equipping producers with more market information, including permanently authorizing a cattle contract library.

"I continue to hear from Nebraska family farmers and ranchers about the need for robust price discovery and transparency in our cattle markets. Support for our bill is stronger than ever, with a long list of cosponsors representing a diverse set of agricultural communities from across the country. I look forward to working with them all to build on the strong momentum we had last year," said Fischer, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

"Family farmers and ranchers in Oregon are working hard to make a living and produce quality meat to feed families across America and the world. Yet, right now the system is working against them and is rigged in favor of big corporations. The cattle market desperately needs reform to level the playing field and give family farmers and ranchers a fair shot," said Wyden.

"Iowa cattle producers have struggled to receive a fair price for years – long before the massive market distortions cattle producers have endured most recently. It's past time for Congress to stand with independent cattle producers and put an end to the cozy relationship between large meat packers and big cattle feedlots. I'm glad to again partner with Senators Fischer, Tester, Wyden and all of my colleagues to build on last year's successes to advance our Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act," said Grassley, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

"As a third generation farmer, I know people in Washington don't understand the challenges Montana ranchers face. Right now, just four big packers control north of 80 percent of the beef industry, and that means those four companies can get together tomorrow and decide what they're charging consumers and paying producers. I know this isn't right and will take on these massive corporations and anyone back in Washington to make sure Montana families and ranchers get what they need," said Tester.

"We strongly support Sen. Fischer, the other sponsors, and the Senate Ag Committee for reintroducing this critical legislation. Nebraska livestock producers depend on markets that are healthy and function properly. When markets are not healthy, the folks who do the work, invest the capital, take the risk and drive our state's economy get the short end of the stick. That is not only not fair to our livestock producers, it hurts our rural communities or our state. We thank Sen. Fischer and the Senate Agriculture Committee for their support for the 'Cattle price discovery and Transparency Act'. We will continue to work with Sen. Fischer until this bill becomes law," said Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen.

"Senator Fischer's continuous work to address the complex price discovery and market transparency issues facing the beef cattle industry is greatly appreciated by Nebraska Cattlemen. We are grateful for her commitment to serve Nebraska's cattle producers," said Nebraska Cattlemen President Steve Hanson.

"The farm and ranch member families of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation once again stand firmly behind Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer's efforts to provide more price discovery and transparency to the cattle marketplace. Nebraska is 'The Beef State' and Sen. Fischer's tireless leadership trying to address the many challenges surrounding how cattle are marketed in the United States is vital to the economic future of our state. Now is the time to move this legislation through Congress and onto President Biden's desk," said Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation President Mark McHargue.

"USCA applauds Senators Fischer, Tester, Grassley, and Wyden for their commitment to U.S. cattle market reform. Restoring fair and competitive market practices is a goal that USCA shares with these champions for competition – and the producers in their states. This bill gives producers access to valuable information that can help them make better - and more profitable - marketing decisions. We welcome the reintroduction of the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act in the 118th Session of Congress and look forward to advancing this bill to the President's desk," said U.S. Cattlemen's Association President Justin Tupper.

"We must preserve and promote the cash market as a competitive option for ranchers. The reintroduction of the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act is another important step in Farmers Union's efforts to seek more transparency and fairness in cattle markets. I want to thank Senator Fischer and the cosponsors for keeping up this fight," said National Farmers Union President Rob Larew.

In addition to Fischer, Wyden, Grassley, and Tester, the legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Sherrod Brown (R-Ohio), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.).

Eleven of the cosponsors are members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.