Current Cattle Market Daily Headlines for February 16, 2021

by | Feb 16, 2021 | 0 comments

Justice for black farmers bill introduced in Senate

  • Back in November, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker introduced the Justice for Black Farmers Act. The bill went on to die when Congress adjourned in December.
  • As of Monday, six democratic senators, including Booker who was recently appointed to the Senate Agriculture Committee, revived the legislation.
    • Five of these senators sit on the Senate Agriculture Committee, which will actually handle the bill.
  • The Justice for Black Farmers Act was brought forward to end discrimination at the USDA and to expand black-owned farmland by up to 32 million acres through land grants over the next ten years.
    • According to Booker, the legislation will take bold steps to forgive debt and restore the land that has been lost in order to empower a new generation of black farmers to succeed and thrive.
  • If this bill is passed, an independent board would review appeals of civil rights complaints filed against the USDA, investigate complaints of discrimination within the department and oversee the farmer-elected county committees that direct operations at local USDA offices.
    • Additionally, this legislation would increase funding for a USDA program to resolve the “heirs property” issue of land passed from one generation of a family to the next without a clear title.
      • A new Equitable Land Access Service would issue land grants of 160 acres apiece to up to 20,000 black individuals annually through 2030.


Montana MCOOL bill heard in house agriculture committee

  • On February 11, the Montana House Agriculture Committee heard testimony on House Bill 324, the Montana Country-of-Origin Placarding Act of 2021.
    • The goal of HB 324 is to restore transparency in meat labeling by giving American beef and pork producers access to a more honest marketplace while allowing consumers to purchase meat produced in the U.S.
      • Representative Frank Smith introduced the legislation, which also has an additional 19 bipartisan co-sponsors.
    • Montana is no stranger to COOL. Back in 2005, a Montana COOL bill was enacted after being advanced by the Northern Plains Resource Council.
      • This bill paved the way for a federal COOL law that was then later passed in 2009.
        • Once the federal law went into effect, Montana COOL sun-setted since it was no longer needed.
      • Unfortunately, federal COOL was later repealed in 2015 when multinational meatpacking corporations applied pressure on U.S. lawmakers through international trade agreements.
        • Since the federal repeal occurred, a loophole now exists that allows imported beef from other countries to be labeled “Product of USA” simply if it repackaged in the U.S.
      • HB 324 would clarify these misleading labels through grocers making an effort to display placards (signs) at meat counters differentiating beef and pork into two categories using the following language:
        • Born, raised, and processed the USA or
        • Imported/origin unlabeled
      • Jeanie Alderson, a rancher located near Birney, MT, described the economic toll imposed on ranchers by the current misleading labeling system during her testimony to the committee.
        • “On our ranch and every other ranch in our state, we have felt the importance of good Country-of-Origin Labeling Laws. In 2014, when we had national COOL, our steer calves brought $2.52/lb., but in 2015 when COOL was abolished, we only received $1.50/lb.,” stated Alderson.
          • Alderson went on to say that ranchers are just looking for fair prices for their hard work and good cattle.
        • The House Agriculture Committee is expected to vote on HB 324 this week.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

How did we get here?

From the Holcomb Tyson fire to COVID-19;
Click to see a timeline of events that have brought to light the profit and pricing disparity in cattle markets.


We're in this together.

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: