COLUMBIA, MISSOURI (August 28, 2019) - “We applaud U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for listening not to conspiracy theories or charts and graphs of economists. He leaned on the expertise of the men and women who have successfully made their living in the cattle business through mercurial markets, regulatory uncertainty, unpredictable weather and much more. These producers - from the cow/calf operator to the backgrounder to the feeder to the livestock market - understand the markets. They are good at what they do and when the overwhelming majority speak, we listen and this administration does as well."
“Cattle producers have sound reason to question market events that transpired after the Holcomb fire. While a sharp decrease in slaughter capacity was anticipated, slaughter actually increased some 9,000 head from the week prior to the fire. Further, most expected this market disruption to cause uncertainty, but few could believe in one week fed cattle prices would drop 5% and Choice boxes would spike 9% while total slaughter increased. All the while, prices for feeder calves plummeted. The financial woes do not reside within one segment of the industry. It impacts the entire chain and causes lending institutions a high level of uncertainty as equity dwindles across the board."
“We back Secretary Perdue’s investigation into the market reaction in live cattle markets and boxed beef subsequent to the Holcomb fire. There is no harm in conducting an investigation to ensure integrity of the markets and to respond to the justified concerns of thousands of U.S. cattle producers. In fact, it’s simply the right thing to do. No matter the result of the investigation, good can come from better understanding what took place and how to best mitigate future disruptions.”