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Meatpackers Present Their Viewpoint Before House Ag Committee

CEOs of the nation’s four largest meatpacking companies testified before the House Ag Committee on Wednesday, defending their role in the marketplace as well as touting benefits they’ve been able to share with producers. Their testimony came amid rising concerns that the four companies–which control over 83 percent of America’s processing capacity–are placing their profitability ahead of the financial viability of family farms. Tim Klein, CEO of Kansas City-based National Beef, says that his company was established nearly 30 years ago to increase competition and options for cattle producers.

 

 

Klein explained to lawmakers that the market’s cyclical nature along with a series of unexpected events are responsible for recent price shifts and not market manipulation.

 

Also during his testimony Wednesday, CEO Tim Klein highlighted National Beef’s partnership established in 1997 with U.S. Premium, whose members provide National Beef’s plants over one million head of cattle to process each year. National Beef now processes roughly one in seven head of cattle in the U.S.

Members of the House Ag Committee also heard testimony from three cattle producers, including Northwest Missouri’s Coy Young, who blamed market concentration for an increasing number of farm failures and suicide rates.



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