Background: Amid this COVID-19 crisis, American consumers are scared and panicked. They need assurance that our nation’s family cattle farmers and ranchers can continually provide them the best, safest and most wholesome beef in the world at affordable prices.
But we’re continually losing cattle producers because our cattle market is broken (as evidenced by long-term increases in beef retail prices and long-term decreases in cattle prices). And because America’s cattle producers’ financial strength is being undercut by cheaper, undifferentiated imports of cattle and beef that are not produced under the United States’ more stringent production standards.
This is weakening America.
We must strengthen our U.S. food production system – our nation’s cattle production system – and stop relying on imports to meet our consumers’ need for beef and a dysfunctional marketplace that harms both producers and consumers.
All eyes are upon us. Now is the time to tell every member of Congress what they must do to help us help America.
Action: Please call both your Senators and your Representative right now at 202-224-3121 and tell them America’s cattle producers don’t want money thrown at them. They want a REAL solution that will ensure the U.S. cattle industry can continue providing safe USA beef to American consumers. Below are two REAL solutions:
- Immediately require all beef sold in America to be labeled as to where the animal was born, raised and harvested. This will ensure that cattle producers can compete in their own market and American consumers can begin choosing to support America’s food producers.
- Immediately stop the destruction of our industry’s shrunken price discovery market that is now controlled by just four packers by limiting the number of cattle that packers can acquire outside of the cash market. Either require them to purchase about 40 percent of their cattle from the cash market or limit the number they can acquire through captive supply arrangement (such as formula contracts, packer-owned or packer-controlled marketing arrangements). Both approaches would have the same positive result.
Specifically ask your Senators and Representatives if they will work with you (and us) to introduce legislation in Congress to achieve these two REAL reforms.
This is extremely important as the COVID-19 Crisis has put Congress in a tailspin trying to come up with a solution to strengthen our food system. They are seeking solutions and we need to provide them.
These solutions do not require money from the U.S. Treasury, they are structural reforms that will restore competition to our marketplace and strengthen our domestic beef supply chain.
Good luck with your calls and let us know who in Congress will stand up for our U.S. cattle industry so we can begin working with them to write new legislation. Thank you for your support of your U.S. cattle industry.
# # #
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 www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516 for more information.