Ag groups talk market competition with White House officials

In a recent meeting with the Biden administration agriculture groups said there’s still work to do in promoting competition and fairness in the marketplace.

The White House Competition Council and USDA met with 16 agriculture groups on Thursday to discuss ways to advance more competition in key agriculture markets.

Lia Biondo, executive vice-president with the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, attended the meeting. She tells Brownfield support from Congress on two cattle price transparency bills would be helpful and the new farm bill could be home for the legislation.

“USDA is very supportive of the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, which would establish a minimum level of cash negotiated trade,” says Biondo. “We also highly support the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2023 and we believe both of those bills will be a one-two punch.”

Biondo says the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association has asked the administration to finish President Biden’s plan of action for market competition. 

National Farmers Union President Rob Larew also attended the meeting and says follow on the plan includes ensuring USDA can update the Packers and Stockyards Act, which is at risk with a rider included in the House Ag Appropriations bill.

“We hope to prevent Capitol Hill from limiting USDA doing their job.”

Larew says if farmers and ranchers are going to get a fair chance in the marketplace, it’s important the administration continues to work together to solve market competition issues.

And Larew says there will be follow-up discussions with the administration on market competition issues in agriculture moving forward.

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