(WASHINGTON) – Yesterday, Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a revised Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act.
The updated bill comes after hours of deliberation with leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee and weeks of technical feedback from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association’s (USCA) Marketing and Competition Committee will review the proposed revisions.
USCA President Brooke Miller issued the following statement:
“Thank you to Senators Fischer, Grassley, Tester, and Wyden for their relentless pursuit to advance legislation that strengthens the bottom line of the U.S. cattle producer. There has never been this much momentum for industry change, both in the countryside and in the Capitol.
“USCA stands with county, state, and national producer associations across the U.S. in supporting mandatory cash trade minimums – a concept that is also supported by the majority of Senate Agriculture Committee members.
“A study compiled by Texas A&M’s Agricultural and Food Policy Center forecasted that without enactment of significant cattle market reform legislation, like the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, negotiated trade in Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico is expected to fall to zero percent by 2026.
“Zero percent negotiated trade is the end of the independent producer, and with it, a sovereign and secure food system. We cannot allow corporate interests to steer a sinking ship – we need to immediately restore marketplace fundamentals and implement guardrails to prevent the industry from capsizing.
“Further, it’s worthwhile to note that economic analyses completed by the University of Arkansas and by Colorado State University’s Stephen Koontz are based off of a time when cash trade was occurring at around 60 percent. Mr. Koontz himself states in his study that ‘the research question is worth revisiting’ due to the limited availability of relevant data. USCA is pleased that this legislation will provide additional economic analysis to define robust cash trade, based on current market conditions.”
“USCA looks forward to reviewing the updated legislation and providing our feedback in the days ahead. We are hopeful that the proposed changes will strengthen the intent of the bill’s authors in establishing a fair cattle marketplace, but must thoroughly review the language first.”