A group of farm and livestock organizations met last week to find ways to improve cattle market transparency. Micheal Clements shares more about the discussion.
Clements: Six agriculture groups recently held a discussion on the current state of cattle markets. The meeting included the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, R-CALF, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, National Farmers Union and the Livestock Marketing Association. Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall calls the meeting an unprecedented event.
Duvall: I’ve been President of American Farm Bureau for five years, and in no time in those five years have all six of these organizations met together. So, I was excited about us getting together and talking about what we could do in the future to help our cattle feeders and our cow-calf producers, and to make sure that they get treated fairly and have access to transparent marketing systems.
Clements: Through the discussion, Duvall says the groups identified three main areas of concern.
Duvall: One of those areas is packer capacity and concentration. We are interested in seeing new investments in regional, small and medium sized processors. Price transparency and discovery is also another concern, and market oversight. We have a Packers and Stockyards Act and we’re going to make sure that it’s enforced. That act was put there to make sure that everybody, from the birth of the calf to the time it’s harvested and reached the shelf is treated fairly.
Clements: Moving forward, Duvall hopes for more discussions in the future.
Duvall: Well, I surely hope that we’ll have not just one more meeting, but many meetings of those groups. We want to continue the dialogue to pursue a fair and transparent livestock marketing system. And, we also, as individual groups with members that set policy, we want to make sure that we take our discussion back to our respective organizations so that we can continue to work for our farmers and ranchers across America.
Clements: Learn more at fb.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.