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NCBA Welcomes Cattle Contract Library Bill Amid Ongoing Push for Transparency

 

Today, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) welcomed the introduction of the Cattle Contract Library Act, led by Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX).

The bipartisan bill would establish a cattle contract library within USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS), equipping cattle producers with the market data they need to make informed business decisions and exert greater leverage in negotiations with major meatpackers.

The cattle contract library is widely supported by industry groups and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and the introduction of this legislation comes after more than a year of NCBA pushing for the creation of the library.

"After more than a year of upheaval, facing everything from extreme drought to supply chain disruptions, many cattle producers have been backed against a wall. We need to act urgently to provide them with relief," said NCBA President Jerry Bohn. "There is no single, silver bullet solution to the wide variety of needs among our diverse membership, but lawmakers can start by focusing on viable solutions that have broad-base support across the industry. The cattle contract library is one such solution, and it will help our producers command more leverage in negotiations with the packers. We appreciate the work of Congressman Johnson and Congressman Cuellar to move the ball forward on this urgent issue."

Earlier this month, NCBA Vice President and South Dakota rancher Todd Wilkinson testified before the House Agriculture Committee and underscored the need for greater transparency in cattle markets. One of the solutions he advocated for was the creation of the cattle contract library, as well as full reauthorization of Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR).

Background

NCBA has long advocated for increased transparency in the cattle and beef supply chain.

In August 2021, NCBA succeeded in pushing USDA to make more market data publicly available. The agency began publishing a new daily report on the foundational prices used in cattle market formulas, grids, and contracts, and a new weekly report on the volume of cattle purchased at each different level of pricing.

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