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Blythedale Cattle Producer Testifies Before U.S. House Ag Committee

Coy Young (far right) testifies before U.S. House Ag Committee

It was the House Ag Committee’s turn Wednesday to wade into the heated discussion about price transparency and cattle market practices. Three cattle producers, including Coy Young of Blythedale, provided testimony to lawmakers on what they believe is causing disparity between rising prices for consumers at the meat counter and producers’ return on investment. While critics of proposals to further regulate cash trade are pointing to inflation and supply chain disruptions, Young blames packer concentration and market manipulation.

 

In his testimony, Young also blames the lack of an open cash market on an average of 40 farms per day exiting the cattle industry and what he called unprecedented rates of suicide. The fourth-generation farmer says all he and other farmers want is an even playing field.

 

CEOs of the four major meatpacking companies also testified, including Tim Klein of Kansas City-based National Beef Packing Company. The four company leaders denied breaking antitrust laws when asked by House Ag Chairman David Scott.

Ag senators also discussed the issue Tuesday in their committee, as they debated the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association testified against the measure, expressing skepticism about government intervention in cattle pricing, while the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association testified in support.



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