Saturday, May 21, 2022

Play

The election fraud movement resurfaces on the campaign trail, Vice President Harris and abortion providers discuss an action plan, and as New Mexico's wildfires rage, nearby states face high fire danger.

Play

Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate Primary still too close to call, a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill is headed to President Biden's desk, and Oklahoma passes the strictest abortion bill in the country.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

MO Cattle Producers: More Competition Needed to Stay Profitable

Play

Friday, December 17, 2021   

Meat prices have been on the rise, but family-farm advocates say higher profits haven't been making their way to smaller cattle producers.

Four companies control 85% of the beef supply, noted Darvin Bentlage, a cattle rancher and farmer in southwest Missouri. He said the executive order on promoting competition that President Joe Biden signed last summer is a step in the right direction, and he urged Congress to follow it up with additional measures to benefit small cattle producers.

"We don't have any competition," he said. "We're often, on the farm, presented with a scenario of 'take it or leave it' prices. We don't get to name our price, and oftentimes, we get shorted in the long run."

Bentlage cited some policies he thinks would make a big difference for producers across the nation -- from requiring meatpackers to purchase 50% of their supply from the cash market, rather than entering futures contracts, to reinstating a requirement that meat processers adhere to country-of-origin labeling. Industry groups oppose those reforms, saying they would have unintended consequences for supply and demand.

Patty Lovera, a policy adviser with the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment, said this isn't a new problem, and while ranchers and consumers are missing out, the corporate middlemen are not.

"If you're a producer who's raised animals the right way -- they're grass-fed, or pasture-based, small-scale, humane -- it's harder and harder for those folks to get their products to market because big corporate meatpackers don't want to deal with them," she said. "They want to deal with factory farms that are cranking out huge numbers of animals."

She urged lawmakers not to let up on market competition reform. The renewed calls for action follow a recent White House report showing the larger meat-processing companies are recording massive profits amid inflation issues. Those companies counter that they're being made scapegoats as prices rise.

Disclosure: Campaign for Family Farms & the Environment contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Rural/Farming, Social Justice, Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Over the past two years, pro-democracy groups say more than 30 states have proposed nearly 230 laws viewed as an attempt to undermine elections. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …


Environment

New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…

Social Issues

A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …


The Federation of Virginia Food Banks' seven regional food banks distributed approximately 165 million pounds of food in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…

Health and Wellness

Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…

The fatality rate for Black bike riders is 30% higher than for white bike riders, according to the League of American Bicyclists. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Today is National Bike to Work Day, and while it may sound "easier said than done," it may not be as daunting as you think. Enthusiasts said the …

Environment

Connecticut is celebrating its first estuary reserve, which will help identify environmental threats to waterways and natural resources. …

Health and Wellness

A new report urges states to take steps to minimize Medicaid coverage loss when the state of emergency for the pandemic comes to an end. COVID …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021