Sunday, July 18, 2021

Farm Reform Act a “Direct Attack” on Cattle Production NCBA’s Lane Says

This week New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker re-introduced his Farm System Reform Act, a bill he says would “transform a broken system.” Similar legislation was introduced in the House by Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA). The lawmakers claim the legislation will “create a level playing field” for independent family farms, Drovers’ Greg Henderson reports.

"Economic concentration in agriculture has been hurting our country, especially rural America, for decades,” Booker said. “The top four beef packing companies control nearly 85% of the market. The top four pork packers control 71% of the market. These companies have too much market power, and it comes at the expense of independent family farmers, who earn just 14.3 cents of every dollar spent on food.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) was quick to label the bill as “misguided,” and Ethan Lane, NCBA’s vice president of government affairs joined host Chip Flory on AgriTalk to discuss the bill further.

“In the political sphere we talk about astroturf—it's when you set up a group that's supposed to look and feel like something other than what it really is—and you have these family farm action type groups that kind of ride in on bills like this and say, ‘Gosh, this is so great for real small family farms and ranches,’ but they're always funded and staffed by animal rights extremists, and this is the case here as well,” Lane says. “You can't eliminate the feedlot system in the highest quality beef producing system in the world, and the most sustainable system in the world and expect it to survive. This is this is a direct attack on cattle production.”...MORE

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