Cattle producer encouraged by Biden executive order
Cattle producers and industry professionals are applauding President Biden’s executive order meant to bring competition into the meat processing sector.
Tim Gibbons with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center says government intervention was needed in the cattle market as producers are struggling while packers make record profits.
“That’s one of the main roles of government, is to be a referee so that competition exists, and that people can be entrepreneurs and make money and stay in their communities and circulate money in their communities,” he said. “As opposed to this, consolidated corporate extractive model.”
Last week, U.S Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $500 million in USDA funds to help expand meat and poultry processing capacity, among other provisions.
Former Missouri Senator and cattle producer Wes Shoemyer tells Brownfield he’s been waiting for a president to take this type of action.
“We’ve never had an executive order to work with before and so that at least gives you some encouragement of somewhere to start from and somewhere to work from…,” Shoemyer said. “I’ve probably [spent] 35 years waiting for a president that had the guts to issue an executive order like this.”
Gibbons and Shoemyer encourage producers and others to urge their state and federal legislators to take up the issue…
“This isn’t the end,” Gibbons said. “This is just the beginning of fighting for competition in agriculture, and in food production, and in our fight for independent family farmers.”