Billings, Mont.-The statewide Ohio cattle association, Buckeye Quality Beef Association, will host a public meeting featuring R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard to explain the precarious state of the U.S. cattle industry and offer solutions with which to strengthen it. There is no cost to attend the meeting and it is open to the public.  The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., April 21, 2017, in the Share Hall of the Guernsey County Fairgrounds, Old Washington, Ohio.

For the past five months, Bullard, who represents the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the U.S., has addressed thousands of independent U.S. cattle producers who attended one of the more than 20 producer meetings sponsored by state and local cattle associations in seven states. These producer meetings were held in N.D., S.D., Neb., Iowa, Kan., Wyo., and Fla.

Bullard said the U.S. cattle industry is on a trajectory to become vertically integrated during the next few years and he wants producers to have the tools they need to encourage the new Trump Administration to put the industry on a new course.

He said multinational packers want to substitute market competition with a command and control relationship with cattle producers, not unlike what they already did in the poultry and hog industries.

“Vertical integration is how packers capture control over livestock supply chains. Though it won’t look the same in the cattle industry as in the poultry and hog industries, the effect will be identical – the international packers will control U.S. cattle production, marketing and pricing,” Bullard commented.

Bullard said his presentation will explain a strategy for maintaining competition in cattle markets and independence for cattle farmers and ranchers.

“Our plan is straightforward. We will take steps to restore and then preserve competition and we will level the playing field between the hundreds of thousands of disaggregated cattle producers whose cattle are ultimately sold to just a handful of behemoth packers.”

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