Q: What are the major issues standing in the way of fair cattle markets?
Finding middle ground between what our four major packers purchase and what our cattle producers receive for a price on their cattle. We walk a fine line between capitalism and socialism with the mandates we are proposing that would require packers to purchase cattle a certain way.
Q: What are your thoughts on the proposal for increased negotiated cash trade?
People need to get paid for their effort, for their labor, and for their product without being told how, what, and where to do that.
Q: How do we create more competition within our cattle markets?
We need more packers in our processing sector, and with that we need more incentive for people to get into that industry. Opportunity needs to be created for smaller packers to get in the market and be sustainable and profitable.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Department of Justice investigation into meatpacker pricing?
The investigation is necessary, cattle producers have been asking for it for years. As an industry, we need to be appreciative of this investigation. Whatever the verdict, we need to learn from this situation and come out smarter on the other side.
Q: What are your thoughts on MCOOL?
There will always be a need for international trade; however, we need to take care of our own first and MCOOL does just that. We have the highest quality animal protein right here in this country. Beef should be labeled with country of origin labeling not just for the producer’s sake, but also for the consumer. Consumers are more aware than ever where their food originates from; they are looking for all products to be American sourced. This is a perfect opportunity for the cattle industry to capitalize on our quality product grown right here in the U.S.
Q: In one sentence, what does the cattle industry need most today?
The cattle industry needs to take advantage of the fact that we’re all on the same team, and that we all have the same end goal, to produce quality product. Our industry needs to stand together instead of breaking off into segments and fighting against each other.
Q: Do you have any closing statements?
The cattle industry needs to continue to educate the consumer and America as a whole on the importance of farmers and ranchers that feed the world. If our agriculture industry falls to the wayside, we are in a heap of trouble.