The Senate and House Agriculture Committees will be delving into some hearings on livestock markets and the farm bill towards the end of the month.
Senators Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and John Boozman, R-Ark., ranking member of the committee, announced that the Committee will hold a hearing to review S.4030 the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022 and S.3870 the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022. Along with a live hearing, the committee will also have a livestream on its website, https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/…
The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act would require USDA to set up mandatory minimum cash market trade for five to seven regions of the country, factoring in the number of packers in a region and the availability of fed cattle, as well as pre-existing contractual arrangements for packers in each region as well. The minimum cash trade would range somewhere between the average negotiated purchases and grid purchases made from Jan. 1, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2022, but not be any larger than 50%.
The bill also would require USDA to create and maintain a library of market contracts between packers and producers.
House Ag and Meatpackers
On the House side, Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., on Wednesday released a statement that the CEOs four the four largest packers -- Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS, and National Beef Packing -- will participate in a hearing on cattle markets.
"I am pleased to announce that the Chief Executive Officers of each of the four largest meatpackers in the United States have agreed to testify at our upcoming Congressional hearing discussing cattle markets and price increases for consumers," Scott said. "It is very important, very vital, and very urgent that we hear the perspectives from the CEOs at these companies and get the full picture of why prices have gone up for consumers and down for ranchers."
Chairman David Scott continued, "In addition to this panel of CEOs, we will be convening a panel of ranchers to hear what consolidation in the beef industry has done to their bottom lines and viability. We look forward to the variety of perspectives we will receive at this hearing and the clarity it will provide to our ranchers, our consumers, and to our nation's food security."
Scott did not announce a date for this hearing.
Senate Ag Heads to Michigan
Stabenow and Boozman also announced the committee will hold a field hearing to hear input from a diverse range of agricultural producers and stakeholders about our next Farm Bill. This is the first field hearing of the 117th?Congress focused on the 2023 Farm Bill and will take place at Michigan State University in?East Lansing on Friday, April 29.
"Our most recent Farm Bill passed with the strongest bipartisan support ever," Stabenow said. "Senator Boozman and I intend to continue that strong bipartisan tradition. I am pleased to welcome him to Michigan to join me in hearing from farmers and others impacted by the Farm Bill about how we can strengthen this important legislation, grow our economy, and build a stronger food supply chain. Michigan is second in the nation for our diversity of crops and home to our Great Lakes, forests and diverse communities of all sizes. I look forward to hearing from stakeholders across our state."
"Crafting a farm bill that can become law is a delicate balance. The needs of each region and each commodity?must be balanced, which is why it is crucial that we hear directly from agricultural stakeholders from across the country. I look forward to joining Chairwoman Stabenow in Michigan to get this process underway, and to building off that with a field hearing in Arkansas in the coming months," Boozman said.
The hearing, entitled Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: 2023 Farm Bill Perspectives from Michigan will focus on agriculture, as well as conservation, rural economic development, research, forestry, energy, and nutrition policies. Witnesses will be announced prior to the hearing.??
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