Current Cattle Market Daily Headlines for February 4, 2021

by | Feb 4, 2021 | 0 comments

Pasco rancher sued by meatpacker over 200,000 ‘missing’ cattle, declares bankruptcy

  • Easterday Farms, one of the largest farming and ranching families in Washington filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.
    • This comes just weeks after Tyson Foods Inc. sued Easterday Farms alleging that the managers defrauded Tyson of $225 million by charging the company to feed 200,000 fictitious cattle.
      • The lawsuit was joined Monday by Spokane-based Washington Trust Bank.
    • An attorney with Washington Trust Bank, Trevor Pincock, told Franklin County Superior Court Judge Samuel Swanberg on Monday that the Easterday family has been transferring assets and selling collateral in violation of its loan agreement.
      • At the hearing in Pasco on Monday, the bank requested and received approval of a temporary restraining order against Easterday Farms to inhibit the operation from selling crops or assets in violation of the loan agreement with the bank.
    • Easterdays and Tyson have been working together for years. Easterday Farms would purchase feeder cattle, feed them and Tyson would reimburse the operation for those costs. The cattle were then delivered to Tyson’s packing plant in Wallula, Washington.
    • According to the lawsuit, Easterday farms claimed to have 186,000 cattle in their feed yard on October 3, 2020, valued at approximately $321 million.
      • Nonetheless, when November and December rolled around, Tyson began to uncover discrepancies.
    • The Easterday family had already put in independent management with full authority to run their operation. Despite this, Pincock requested a temporary restraining order against the management of Easterday Farms to prevent any moves other than normal business operations. Judge Swanberg granted this request.
    • Judge Swanberg stated that a hearing is set for next week and if Easterday Farms has not filed for federal bankruptcy protection at that time, the decision will be made as to whether or not a receivership should be put in place and who it should be.


USDA nominee Vilsack casts farmers as leaders in climate fight

  • On Tuesday, Tom Vilsack said that farmers and ranchers are potential leaders in the new administration’s battle against climate change.
    • He believes that government-funded incentives could get farmers and agricultural companies to adopt climate-friendly practices without implementing increased regulation, and in turn would make U.S. food more attractive in export markets.
      • Vilsack emphasized the fact that these practices need to be voluntary and incentive based for farmers and ranchers to be cooperative.
    • President Biden has set a goal for the U.S. economy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
      • Vilsack believes that capturing carbon in soil and developing products made from agricultural waste could contribute to that goal.
    • According to Vilsack, if U.S. agricultural goods were produced in a more sustainable way, U.S. agricultural producers would have a competitive edge among global consumers hungry for food that is safe, tasteful, affordable and raised using methods that don’t harm the environment.
    • The pandemic has shown the need for a more robust food supply chain and Vilsack believes that promoting a food system with more, smaller facilities for slaughtering and processing livestock would be beneficial.


Booker gets a spot on Senate Agriculture Committee

  • On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Cory Booker was appointed to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
    • Booker is only the second Black American to hold a seat on the panel since it was established in 1825.
  • According to Booker, the U.S. food system is deeply broken. Family farmers are struggling and many family farms are disappearing, while big agriculture gets bigger and continues to see increased profits.
    • He believes that healthy, fresh food has become hard to find and difficult to afford in both rural and urban communities.
  • Booker looks forward to addressing the urgent concerns around family farms, big agriculture and other urgent issues in the agriculture industry.
  • According to, in December 2019, Booker unveiled the Farm System Reform Act; a broad piece legislation, but at its core focused on four things:
    • Impose an immediate moratorium on the construction of new CAFOs and phase out the largest existing CAFOs by 2040.
    • Impose the liabilities and costs of pollutions, accidents and disasters on the agricultural conglomerates that control the market rather than on independent farmers who contract with them.
    • Create a $100 billion fund to help farmers who are currently running CAFOs transition to other agricultural operations.
    • Strengthen the existing Packers and Stockyards Act to prohibit a range of contract terms and structures that let huge meat buyers put farmers in a race for the bottom while denying them political and legal recourse.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $235.28 (-1.48)
  • Select boxed beef: $223.39 (-1.65)


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: