Tester, Rounds work together for US farmers, ranchers


By Sue Roesler, The Prairie Star (ND)

Oct 12, 2020


Two U.S. Senators are collaborating on different legislation aimed at fairness for family farmers and ranchers.


U.S. Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) are both closely connected to agriculture, and they spoke recently about the cattle market and Congress’ role in leveling the playing field at a session hosted by the United States Cattlemen's Association (USCA).


The USCA said Tester and Rounds led other senators in introducing a Senate resolution reaffirming their commitment to truth in labeling for U.S. beef products. In addition, both support legislation, such as the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act (TLAAS).


Tester and Rounds said they work together on a number of issues in Congress, including “Truth in Labeling,” which labels a U.S. product correctly, and that meat should come from cattle.


“I don’t believe meat should come out of a laboratory – it comes out of a cow,” Tester said. “Thanks (to the USCA members) for being family farmers. My wife and I farm and my grandparents homesteaded, and family farmers in ag feed the world. Ag is a way of life and it is in my blood.”


Rounds said he has family involved in agriculture. One brother-in-law sells Charolais cattle and another brother-in-law has a commercial herd. Rounds’ stepbrother runs a third generation cow/calf operation.


“Jon has been a darn good partner on this (legislation). We work on a number of issues together. We have a lot in common and that is where you get results,” Rounds said.


Regarding “Truth in Labeling,” Rounds spoke of unfair practices, including when meat is brought into the U.S. from other countries, it can be repackaged by the big packers and relabeled as “U.S. beef.”


“That is totally unfair to U.S. cattle producers,” Rounds said.


Tester talked about a small number of large corporations taking over most of the beef industry...