Photo courtesy Dave Duquette
Q: What do you feel are the biggest issues standing in the way of fair cattle markets?
The biggest issue standing in the way of fair cattle markets is the firewall surrounding President Trump. This wall is insulating the president from the true issues facing our industry. NCBA is the only cattle organization that can get through to the president when it comes to issues.
The DOJ investigation into the sheep processing plant in Greeley, CO will hopefully shed some more light on the issues within the cattle industry. Right now, JBS is worried they won’t be able to purchase another processing plant in the U.S. because of the three anti-trust investigations they’re facing. Every investigation into a packer is a good thing for the cattle industry as it brings awareness to the issues within the processing sector.
Q: What are your thoughts on imports of cattle and beef?
Importing cattle and beef into the U.S. does nothing for the cattle industry. I have a friend from Belgium that is a meat connoisseur, and every time he visits the U.S. he makes sure to enjoy our beef. He says American beef is substantially better than any other beef in the world. The U.S. imports cattle and beef from other countries that don’t have the same regulations and standards for their beef, but we continue to import without giving the consumer the opportunity to differentiate between domestic product and foreign product.
Q: What are your thoughts on MCOOL?
MCOOL needs to be fully implemented in the cattle industry. There are quite a few feeders in this area that ship cattle north to Canada to lower their feeding costs. This system has worked well for these producers, as they’ve actually been able to make money on feeder cattle. There are a lot of intricacies that need to get figured out in situations like this.
Q: Do you think the industry is in danger of becoming vertically integrated?
The cattle industry is undoubtedly headed towards vertical integration. All cattle producers need to be fighting for their independence and the industry.
Q: Any closing statements?
The cattle industry needs to make their issues known. Whether it is MCOOL, trade, or issues within the processing sector, producers need to make their voices heard.