COLUMBIA, MISSOURI (October 20, 2020) - Missouri Cattlemen’s Association along with 16 other state cattle organizations sent letters to U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, and U.S. Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, pushing for support of S. 4647 and H.R. 8557 respectively, the proposed Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2020. The Senate version is sponsored by U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and the nearly identical House version is sponsored by U.S. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.).
The letter, which also went to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, and U.S. Congressman Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture, thanked the legislators for their support of cattle producers across the country and called for quick and diligent consideration of this important agricultural bill.
“S. 4647/ H.R. 8557 represent a balanced approach between providing key information and transparency for cattle producers while maintaining confidentiality for the packing sector of the beef industry,” the letter affirmed. “We would respectfully request that the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2020 be given full and fair consideration by the Senate/House Agriculture Committees and a hearing be scheduled on this bill at the first appropriate date possible.”
As detailed in the letters, the cattle industry and national markets are working to recover from “black swan” events occurring prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation would assist producers as they fight to recover from residual consequences and provide long-term structural changes to the cattle markets. Specifically, supporting organizations requested support of proposed regional cash minimums, beef contract library, 14-day slaughter report and modifications to confidentiality guidelines to ensure all information is transparent.
“Let us be clear, the thousands of cattle producers our respective organizations represent do not ask for any type of market manipulation or guaranteed profit,” the letter stated. “We simply ask for the information to be made readily available to allow cattle producers the ability to make informed and educated decisions that will best benefit their operation.”
Along with MCA, the letter was authored by Alabama Cattlemen’s Association; Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association; Georgia Cattlemen’s Association; Iowa Cattlemen’s Association; Illinois Beef Association; Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association; Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association; Nebraska Cattlemen; New Mexico Cattle Growers Association; North Dakota Stockmen’s Association; Ohio Cattlemen’s Association; Oregon Cattlemen’s Association; South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association; Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association; Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association and Wyoming Stock Growers Association.
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