Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst were among the group of senators that proposed the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act back in November. If passed, the bill would be a “compromise cattle market proposal” to help enforce market transparency.

If passed the bill would;

  • Establish regional minimum thresholds of negotiated cash and grid trade based on an 18-month regional average
  • Require the USDA to create a public library of marketing contracts between packers and producers in a way that would ensure confidentiality
  • Prohibit the USDA from using confidentiality as an excuse to not report.
  • Require timely reports of cattle carcass weight and number of cattle scheduled for slaughter in a 14-day time period

Since the announcement of the bill, industry shareholders have expressed mixed feelings about the bill. Groups for the bill such as the US Cattlemen’s Association, are saying the transparency around it will help strengthen cattle producers’ bottom line. Others, such as the North American Meat Institute, said this could ultimately hurt the producers.

The American Farm Bureau spoke out last week saying the organization mostly supports the bill but is asking for some revisions.

Scott Bennett Director of Congressional Relations for American Farm Bureau says that a vote at the organization’s national convention earlier this month passed a policy that dictates the organization does not support government-mandated trade.

We support every aspect of the bill. Except that except the portion that would require a government-mandated negotiated trade.

American Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization that relies on its members to dictate the policies the organization stands by each year.

Hear more of my conversation with Scott Bennett:

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