Photo Courtesy, Schomp Ranch, https://www.facebook.com/schompranch
Q: What do you think are the major issues standing in the way of fair cattle markets?
Government regulations have made it tough for cattle producers over recent years. There is a definite need to label American beef not only for producers, but also for consumers.
Q: What are your thoughts on cattle and beef imports?
America does not need to import beef. We have domestic cattle that need to be slaughtered, but for some reason we continue to import beef. Foreign beef is imported to mix with our domestic product in order to keep meat affordable. The cattle industry’s kill cow market is right around $600-$800/cow. Many folks forget that a part of a cattle producer’s income is derived from this kill cow market. If America wasn’t importing beef from other countries, the kill cow market would be substantially better and producers would have a better chance at being profitable.
Q: What are your thoughts on the DOJ investigation into meatpacker pricing.
Most likely nothing will come from this investigation. There was supposed to be an investigation into the Holcomb plant fire, however we have not seen any results from that investigation.
Q: Have you seen the effects of unfair cattle markets in your rural area?
South Dakota’s number one industry is agriculture; the majority of people who live in the state are directly affected by the agriculture economy. There is very little disposable income for those involved in the industry. Like most states that rely on agriculture, when that economy becomes depressed, the whole state suffers.
Q: Why do you feel that the cattle industry has turned a blind eye to packer consolidation throughout the years?
We have let foreign companies come in and control our food supply. We cannot have majority control of our meat processing plants be owned by foreign investors.
Q: What does the cattle industry need most today?
The cattle industry produces the highest quality food in the world, but somehow we always have to jump over hurdles to produce these products. We need people to quit taking advantage of our industry and lawmakers willing to work with us. Consumers need to be educated on what is truly going on within our cattle industry when it comes to struggles and unfair markets.