KFGO: Senators say livestock consolidation a “bad deal” for consumers, ranchers

by Rusty Halvorson

Senators Chuck Grassley and Jon Tester encourage their Senate colleagues to oppose recent efforts that they say will weaken the Packers and Stockyards Act. The upcoming Fiscal year 2024 Agriculture Appropriations bill includes provisions Grassley and Tester say would “prevent USDA from enforcing the Packers and Stockyards Act to hold multi-national food manufacturers accountable.”

Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Tester, a Montana Democrat, contend, “Congress must reject the latest push by these special interests to attach a rider to the FY 2024 Agriculture Appropriations bill to once again block USDA from implementing the 2008 bipartisan Farm Bill reforms.”

Enforcement already falls short in leveling the playing field for small-scale producers, and the Senators highlighted that recent efforts by the nation’s largest meatpackers to prevent further enforcement would be detrimental to America’s family farmers and ranchers.

Currently, four companies control over 80 percent of domestic beef processing, 60 percent of domestic hog processing, and 50 percent of domestic poultry processing.