(JUNE 23, 2021) – On Wednesday June 23, 2021, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held a hearing titled “Examining Markets, Transparency, and Prices from Cattle Producer to Consumer.”
Justin Tupper, Vice President of the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) provided testimony on behalf of the organization. Other witnesses included Mr. Mark Gardiner of Gardiner Angus Ranch; Dr. Glynn Tonsor of Kansas State University; Dr. Mary Hendrickson of University of Missouri; and Dr. Dustin Aherin of Rabobank.
Today’s hearing provided a unique opportunity to exclusively investigate the U.S. cattle industry, and specifically, the current state of cattle markets and its impacts on both producers and consumers.
USCA VP Tupper has led the organization’s Marketing and Competition Committee in its work to address many of the topics covered in today’s hearing and due to those efforts, USCA’s committee members were able to put forth actual solutions in today’s testimony that would strengthen the bottom line of U.S. cattle producers.
In his verbal testimony, Mr. Tupper provided an overview of the current state of the U.S. cattle industry:
“These cattle markets are a very complex issue, we know this, but when there is an oligopoly, with four packers controlling the industry, there are only two ways to level the playing field:
“We can either work to eliminate the occurrence of anti-competitive practices and market manipulation in the meatpacking sector. Or, as we’ve seen done in the past in other industries, we can break them up so they cannot have as much influence or ownership of the market.
“We don’t take these changes lightly. We believe these are critical times. The United States Cattlemen’s Association, of whom I am testifying on behalf of today, is fighting to secure our food supply chain, our rural communities, and our members’ livelihoods.”