Photo Credit: Beef Magazine, https://www.beefmagazine.com/
Q: What do you feel are the major issues standing in the way of fair cattle markets?
The biggest issue facing our cattle markets is packer concentration; our industry is dealing with a buyers market. With that being said, we need the packers to make our industry function. The Packers and Stockyards Act needs to be looked into so feeders can stand a chance at making it.
Q: What are your thoughts on the DOJ investigation into the big four beef processors?
The DOJ investigation is long overdue. The Packers and Stockyards Act needs to take a hard look at how cattle are being marketed. Things may turn out to be fair, but it’s been almost 70 years since it has been looked into and now is the time.
Q: What are your thoughts on Senator Grassley’s 50/14 legislation?
Senator Grassley’s 50/14 actually takes competition out of the cattle market. The worst thing we can do is take away a cattle producer’s ability to market his cattle the way he sees fit.
Q: What are your thoughts on beef imports and exports?
The U.S. should not be importing cattle and/or beef from countries with disease; they don’t have the same standards as we do. We most definitely should not be importing from Brazil where they have Foot and Mouth Disease. If that would get here it would be a complete disaster for the U.S. cattle industry.
Q: What are your thoughts on USDA’s push to implement RFID tags across the cattle industry by 2023?
If the cattle industry has another BSE or Foot and Mouth disease case, we need to know where those animals originated. RFID tags will do just that and they will also help us stop the spread of disease.
RFID tags benefit producers as a marketing tool. The industry needs to get behind this initiative so our consumers know where their beef is coming from and how it has been treated and handled.
Q: What are some of the main concerns you’re hearing from Montana Stockgrowers’ members?
Members are concerned there won’t be enough profit in the coming years. This thought has caused more and more program cattle to hit the market. Our industry will most likely trend towards program cattle in the future.
Q: Do you have any closing statements?
The cattle industry needs to support and advertise our product. Beef is king when it comes to protein and all segments within our industry need to support it.