Statewide Iowa — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is co-sponsoring legislation designed to foster more disclosure of the prices paid for cattle, as well as a bill to block federal agencies from promoting a “meatless” diet among employees.
Ernst, a Republican who grew up on a farm near Red Oak, says these issues are important to her since her family raised hogs.
(as said) “Here in Iowa, folks, we are all about the meat,” Ernst says.
“Farming and ranching is not only critical to our jobs, our economy, our culture and our way of life here in Iowa, it’s also in our DNA.”
Ernst is co-sponsoring a bill that would give independent cattle producers more data about what meatpackers are paying for cattle. Since packers often buy directly from feedlots, cattle prices aren’t well represented in public sales. The bill would set up a system already used to help track hog prices. Ernst warns getting the bill through the Senate will be difficult.
(as said) “What we’ll see is a little bit of pushback coming from different areas of the United States,” she says. “…You see those beef producers maybe in Texas or Oklahoma that have a different thought on how it should be handled.”
Ernst and a Kansas senator are co-sponsoring a bill that would ban federal agencies from excluding meat from the menu in government cafeterias and dining halls.
(as said) “When I hear calls from the liberal left, everyone from out-of-touch politicians to Hollywood elite encouraging people to ban meat and the quality agriculture products we produce here in Iowa it makes me sizzle,” Ernst says.
Ernst is calling this bill the TASTEE Act, which stands for Telling Agencies to Stop Tweaking What Employees Eat Act. Ernst says it’s one way supporters of animal agriculture can start pushing back against the so-called Green New Deal and prevent another episode like the U-S-D-A newsletter reference to “meatless Mondays” that was retracted in 2012.