Feenstra, Grassley, Others Introduce Legislation To Force Transparency In Cattle Prices

Washington, DC — Congressman Randy Feenstra of Hull has introduced, alongside U.S. Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA), his Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act.

Feenstra says the idea of the bill is to return fairness to the cattle marketplace dominated by four major meat packers.

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) are leading companion legislation in the U.S. Senate. The Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association are both supportive of this legislation.

Feenstra says, “The Big Four Meat Packers are illegally distorting the cattle market to increase their profits at the expense of Iowa family farmers. It’s shameful and it’s wrong. The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act will finally expose the Big Packers’ price-fixing schemes and hold them accountable for their antics. I am proud to introduce this important legislation with Senator Grassley to bring transparency to the cattle marketplace and ensure that our producers and their families are paid a fair price for their high-quality product.”

This legislation would require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish 5-7 regions encompassing the entire continental U.S. and then establish minimum levels of fed cattle purchases made through approved pricing mechanisms. Approved pricing mechanisms are fed cattle purchases made through negotiated cash, negotiated grid, at a stockyard and through trading systems that multiple buyers and sellers regularly can make and accept bids. These pricing mechanisms will ensure robust price discovery and are transparent. It would also establish a maximum penalty for covered packers of $90,000 for mandatory minimum violations. Covered packers are defined as those packers that during the immediately preceding five years have slaughtered five percent or more of the number of fed cattle nationally. The bill would also include provisions to create a publicly available library of marketing contracts, mandating boxed beef reporting to ensure transparency, expediting the reporting of cattle carcass weights, and requiring a packer to report the number of cattle scheduled to be delivered for slaughter each day for the next 14 days. The contract library would be permanently authorized and specify key details about the contents that must be included in the library – like the duration and other provisions in the contract that may impact price such as schedules, premiums, discounts, and transportation arrangements.

Last week, Feenstra hosted a town hall with cattlemen in Moorhead, Iowa to discuss his Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act and the upcoming Farm Bill. During his conversation with the cattlemen, Feenstra also touched on his work to rescind what he calls “the Biden Administration’s overreaching WOTUS rule” and ban China from buying Iowa farmland.



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