Farm Bureau Continues to Fight for All Farmers, Livestock and Dairy Producers
In a world impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic result, the agriculture industry has likewise been impacted. There has been major volatility in U.S. cattle markets which has caused increased attention on the growing gap between high beef prices and low cattle prices. Prior to COVID-19 the dairy sector was in the midst of transition and uncertainty due to bankruptcy proceedings of Dean Foods and Borden Dairy. Farm Bureau continuously strives to work aggressively, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, for livestock and dairy producers.
Farm Bureau has called on Congress to provide critical resources to farmers impacted by the COVID-19 shockwave to the food system and to rural communities grappling with the pandemic’s impacts. Many struggling farmers were left out of initial federal aid, and some who received assistance are still being hurt with COVID-19 losses. As additional coronavirus relief is considered, Farm Bureau sent a letter to congressional leaders outlining the need, you can read the letter to Congress by clicking here. More information on this issue can be found below in this webpage.
Right now, the Senate is working on what may prove to be the final piece of legislation related to the pandemic. You can contact Senators Alexander and Blackburn by using this link.
Unfortunately, independent dairy farmers producing for Dean Foods did not receive payment for the milk produced in April. In response, Farm Bureau urged the Dean Foods estate and its lenders to prioritize immediate payments to these producers. Thankfully on June 8, independent producers reported that they received payment for the month of April. More information on this issue can be found below in this webpage.
For the beef market, Farm Bureau’s efforts include calling for investigations by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and USDA into questionable market practices; meeting with both CFTC and USDA officials to convey a strong interest in a robust investigation of any market-distorting activities; and working with government entities and other agricultural organizations to engage in aggressive oversight of cattle markets to ensure producers are paid fair value for their livestock. Farm Bureau also supports the Trump administration’s initiative to have USDA investigate potential market-distorting tactics.
Members of Congress have also taken note of the issues in the meat sector and are discussing items such as the disparity between high beef product prices and low cattle prices, meat processing capacity, and the world meat trade. Several proposals have been offered to address these concerns. Some of these proposals align with Farm Bureau’s policy, while others do not. This webpage addresses these congressional proposals and how Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy addresses the issues.