Cattle groups disagree on new legislation that would reshape U.S. cattle markets


By Kellan Heavican, Brownfield

November 22, 2021


Legislation is expected to be introduced in Congress next week that would significantly reform the structure of the U.S. cattle markets


“This is the silver bullet.”


R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard tells Brownfield the bill would make comprehensive changes to all aspects of the market, and it starts with prohibiting packers from entering into formula contracts. “It addresses the single most, dangerous threat to the competitiveness of the industry and the is the use of these unpriced contacts that give the packers the ability to leverage down domestic cattle prices.”


Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Representative Ro Khanna, a Democrat from California, announced the Protecting America’s Meatpacking Workers Act of 2021 on Monday.


But, Ethan Lane with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association tells Brownfield “To craft something like this with vegan members of Congress that don’t even agree that cattle production should exist and slap it together and put it out the door as some kind of silver bullet solution is not something we can take seriously at this point as an industry.”


The act would also:


•Bans the nation’s largest packers from owning and feeding cattle more than 7 days before slaughter.


•Requires each plant...