To: R-CALF USA Members, Affiliates, and Friends

From: Bill Bullard, CEO

Date: October 18, 2021

Subject: 50/14 in Peril:  Calls Needed!

Background:  Senators Grassley and Tester introduced the 50/14 bill, S.949, to ensure captive supply cattle would no longer dominate the market. S.949 ensures that at least half of all fed cattle would be sold competitively in the cash market, and that they would all be killed within 14 days of sale, so they couldn’t be converted into captive supplies.

The packers and their allies are pulling out all the stops to derail S.949.  They’ve enlisted their economist buddies to claim that limiting captive supplies will cost cow/calf producers, backgrounders and feeders billions of dollars.

They claim captive supplies are needed to ensure a steady supply of the right kind of cattle, which they say lowers the cost of beef to consumers.

But captive supply arrangements are only between the feeder and the packer. So how do feeders ensure they have enough of the right kind of cattle to meet the criteria for captive supply contracts? After all, it’s up to the cow/calf producer to raise enough of the right kind of calves.

The answer is: The feeder goes out and bids for enough of the right kind of calves in the competitive cash marketplace.

So, cow/calf producers sell feeders enough of the right kind of cattle in the competitive cash marketplace, and the feeder buys them there and puts them on feed for a few months before selling them to the packer.

If feeders can get enough of the right kind of cattle in the competitive cash marketplace, why do packers need a captive supply contract for the last four to six months of their lives?

They simply don’t!

But, the beef packing lobby has hoodwinked most of your Senators into believing they do.

Action: We need your help to turn the tide back in your favor. Please call your two Senators right away and explain to them that captive supplies are hurting your market and consumers are not receiving any savings. Tell them they must support the Grassley/Tester 50/14 bill (S.949) to restore competition to your cattle market.

You can reach your Senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for them by name.

Time is of the essence as we’re hearing a watered-down version of 50/14 may be on its way.

Thank you for your help and we’ll soon be back in touch.

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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only lobbying and trade association representing U.S. cattle producers. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. Visit or, call 406-252-2516 for more information.