April 29, 2022
I’ll keep it short this week, but Tuesday and Wednesday were big days for the cattle industry in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing to discuss oversight of cattle marketing. The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, being pushed by Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, was the main subject of the hearing.
That bill, S.4030, would mandate that packers purchase a certain amount of cattle on a cash basis by region. Unfortunately, analysis released by Colorado State and Texas A&M shows that a mandate could cause more harm than good, especially for producers in the southern plains. The CSU study estimated a reduction in the price of cattle by about $50 per head.
Earlier this week, TSCRA signed onto a letter opposing the legislation. That letter included more than 20 cattle organizations from across the country and can be read here.
On Wednesday, cattle organizations were back in the U.S. Capitol, testifying before the House Ag Committee.
That hearing focused more directly on packers and the disparity between cattle and beef prices, with executives from the big four testifying before the committee. I won’t rehash the whole hearing, but Politico published a pretty thorough recap of the hearing if you’re interested in reading more.
Also, on Wednesday, TSCRA staff and leaders had the opportunity to meet with Texas Senate candidate Morgan LaMantia in Beeville. Endorsed by the TSCRA PAC, LaMantia is currently in a Democratic runoff race and is heavily favored to win in the general election this November. The seat is currently held by Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville), who is retiring at the end of his current term.
You can read more about Morgan LaMantia on her website, morganlamantia.com.
Next week, TSCRA second vice president Stephen Diebel will be testifying before the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. He will update the committee on how continued illegal border crossings harm Texas’ cattle producers and landowners.
More on that next week!
Jeremy Fuchs is the director of policy communications and government relations for Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.