WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced the bipartisan Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021. The legislation would restore transparency and accountability in the cattle market by establishing regional cash minimums and equipping producers with more market information.
“I am reintroducing this bill with bipartisan support. It will help facilitate price discovery and provide cattle producers with the information they need to make informed marketing decisions. I am committed to working across the aisle to advance the bill forward this Congress,” said Senator Fischer.
“Cattle ranchers and rural economies have been hit especially hard during the COVID-19 public health crisis. And that economic fallout gets compounded for Oregon producers who face both a lack of processing facilities and opaque cattle markets that add up to a serious disadvantage. This detailed and common-sense bipartisan bill would provide our state’s rural producers the transparency and accountability they need to negotiate fair prices, stay in business and continue generating jobs throughout Oregon,” said Senator Wyden.
“America’s ranchers don’t control the prices they are paid for their products and those raising livestock have legitimate questions about pricing. When the pandemic hit, meat prices at grocery stores went up while the prices paid to farmers fell through the floor. This legislation will ensure farmers and ranchers have fair access to markets and are fully informed on pricing so they can continue to put food on the table in homes across the country. We appreciate Senator Fischer and Senator Wyden for introducing the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021 and look forward to working with members of the House on a companion bill introduction,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Zippy Duvall.
Senator Fischer first introduced the Cattle Market Transparency Act in 2020. Today, she and Senator Wyden are reintroducing this legislation, which will:
- Establish regional mandatory minimum thresholds of negotiated cash and negotiated grid trades to enable price discovery in cattle marketing regions. It will require the Secretary of Agriculture in consultation with the Chief Economist, to establish regionally sufficient levels of negotiated cash and negotiated grid trade, seek public comment on those levels, then implement.
- Require USDA to create and maintain a publicly available library of marketing contracts between packers and producers in a manner that ensures confidentiality.
- Prohibit the USDA from using confidentiality as a justification for not reporting and makes clear that USDA must report all LMR information, and they must do so in a manner that ensures confidentiality.
- Mandate that a packer report to USDA the number of cattle scheduled to be delivered for slaughter each day for the next 14 days and require USDA to report this information on a daily basis.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) is introducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.