Nebraska’s Fischer says there’s momentum to move legislation to help cattle industry
By Kellan Heavican, Brownfield
June 4, 2021
Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer says a highly concentrated meat-packing industry is doing irreputable harm to producers and forcing consumers away from the grocery store.
She tells Brownfield, “To see these prices, fluctuate so much at the packer level and then hitting the consumer so hard, that’s not going to encourage a consumer to buy a steak for the weekend and put it on the grill,” she says.
The Republican Ag Committee Member says when the cyberattack against JBS USA shutdown operations, it worsened an on-going problem. “When you have that packer concentration, I think it makes those fluctuations have wilder swings, which is what we’re seeing with JBS now because of the concentration of the market that they have right now in the United States.”
Fischer says legislation she introduced earlier this year increases price discovery, competition and transparency became even more important this week. “We want to make sure that we can look into cases especially with cyberattacks. We want to be able to find out exactly what happened and hold those people accountable or nations accountable.”
She introduced the Cattle Market Transparency Act with Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, earlier this year that would improve minimums for cash sales and publicly catalog the amount of cattle slaughtered each day for 14 days.