WASHINGTON - On Thursday, U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. joined a bipartisan group of members to introduce the Price Reform in Cattle Economics (PRICE) Act, to deliver much-needed industry reforms for Kansas livestock owners and processors. Earlier this year, the Agricultural Marketing Service at USDA released the “Box Beef & Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report,” which identified a number of systemic issues in the cattle market and issued recommendations to address them. The bipartisan group of members introduced the PRICE Act in response to the findings of the report.
“The ongoing pandemic has exposed several weaknesses in our current cattle marketing and processing systems, causing financial hardship for cattle owners in Kansas and across the U.S.,” said Rep. Marshall. “Since the beginning of this crisis, I have stood with our livestock owners and fought for assistance and regulatory relief that will provide the industry with the flexibility needed to respond. Now it is time to look forward and make updates to our system that will create greater price reporting and transparency, allow smaller processors to grow and take on additional processing capabilities as well as make much needed reforms to the Packers and Stockyards Act. I am optimistic that the legislation we are putting forward today will reform and improve the system to make it work for all livestock owners.”
“Cattle country is hurting and has not fully recovered,” said Johnson. “USDA laid out several areas where Congress can implement real solutions to improve the market – the PRICE Act is the answer to many of the issues our ranchers have faced for years. Our producers want a fair market and fair prices and that’s what this bill delivers. Congress needs to deliver for cattle country.”
“Our nation’s cattle producers are facing unprecedented market challenges due to supply chain disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as last year’s fire at the Holcomb, KS beef plant,” said Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway. “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the PRICE Act, which offers a suite of consensus proposals that will improve the marketplace.”
The PRICE Act will deliver greater price reporting and transparency, comprehensive risk management solutions for livestock owners, make available small processor and producer-owned cooperative processing opportunities and update the Packer and Stockyards Act to create a cattle contract library.
Led by Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD), additional co-sponsors of the PRICE Act include Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway (R-TX), and Representatives Frank Lucas (R-OK), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), David Rouzer (R-NC), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Jason Smith (R-MO), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), Darren Soto (D-FL) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX).