Senate Ag Committee Calls Hearing on Pricing in the Cattle Industry

Jun 25, 2021  | 2 min  | Ep4645

If economic logic of competition benefits the consumer, the same can be said about the provider of goods. If more can bid on your wares, the fight for your product creates opportunity for growth.

The beef producer has been looking for more options with an eye on raising prices paid at the packinghouse door.

John Torpy has more.  

Cattle industry officials and researchers were on Capitol Hill this week to examine the issues facing producers.

Senator Chuck Grassley, R – Iowa: “Does captive supply create more leverage for packers to pay lower prices for fed cattle in the cash market?”       

Appearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee, the panel discussed a range of subjects including price discovery and the impact of the cash market on the supply chain.

Justin Tupper, Vice President, United States Cattlemen’s Association: ”When the big four can have all that captive supply, so they do not have to compete for those cattle, then they can push down the prices.”

Along the border of Nebraska and Iowa, a fourth generation cattle feeder believes building a beef processing plant has the potential to solve some of the concerns addressed in this week’s hearing.

Chad Tentinger, Cattlemen's Heritage: (01:35) “What the last two years in the cattle industry has taught us is that we have a deficiency in capacity to process cattle in the Midwest.”

For a decade, Chad Tentinger has been looking for ways to build a processing facility that meets the needs of the regions cattle producers. If all goes according to plan, the Cattlemen’s Heritage processing facility will open near the end of 2023.

Chad Tentinger, Cattlemen's Heritage: “Twelve-hundred head family farms is our target. And we plan to have our, all our cattle in our pipeline coming through our plant already. So we won't necessarily, in five to seven years, be on the open market bidding against anybody else, they will already be procured by us in our pipeline.” 

By locating the plant near Glenwood, Iowa, Tentinger hopes to attract a workforce from nearby Omaha, Nebraska while giving producers in six Midwestern states access to a regionally located processing plant.

Chad Tentinger, Cattlemen's Heritage: ”The fact of the matter is if you look at the industry, there are plenty of profits in this industry, from the ranch, all the way to retail, our attempt using the family farms, is to spread that profit around. There's plenty for everybody.”

For Market to Market, I’m John Torpy.  Twitter: @TVTorpy

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