Tester Introduces Montana Rancher Leo McDonnell at Senate Finance Committee Hearing

Senator: “I’m a farmer. The guy to my right is a rancher. He works hard and he produces top quality beef that consumers can trust.”

As part of his continued efforts to advocate for Montana’s family farmers and ranchers, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today introduced Montana rancher Leo McDonnell before the Senate Finance Committee. Tester invited McDonnell to testify before the Committee about his experience as a rancher and to talk about why it’s important that American producers aren’t cut out of the market by foreign corporations that aren’t following the rules.

“I’m a farmer. The guy to my right is a rancher. He works hard and he produces top quality beef that consumers can trust. Our American ranchers set the gold standard for taking care of their land and bringing safe products to market. Today, I’m honored to introduce an American rancher who’s gonna share his story that embodies the best of the cattle industry,” Tester told the Committee in his opening remarks.

Tester continued: “The guy to my right is a guy by the name of Leo McDonnell. Him and his wife Sam run McDonnell Angus, which has herds in Montana and in North Dakota. He knows how to raise fine beef. He knows how important the grass resource is. He received degrees from Texas Tech University and the University of Wyoming in animal nutrition and animal science. And Leo’s work goes far beyond his ranch. He truly is a leader in the beef industry, including serving as chair of the Montana Cattle Feeders and director of U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. Leo, it is an incredible honor to introduce you today.”

As the Senate’s only working farmer, Tester has long been Montana’s leading champion for family farmers and ranchers.

Earlier this year, Tester introduced his bipartisan legislation to suspend Brazilian beef imports to the United States until experts can conduct a systemic review of the commodity’s impacts on food safety and animal health. Tester has also re-introduced his bipartisan Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, which would establish minimums for negotiated sales and require clear reporting of marketing contracts, his Meat Packing Special Investigator Act to fight consolidation by appointing a special investigator within USDA to address and prevent anticompetitive practices in the meat and poultry industries, and his bipartisan American Beef Labeling Act, which would reinstate mandatory country of origin labeling for beef, adding more transparency to the beef industry, and give American producers a fair shake.


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