Minnesota Farmers Union president encouraged by cattle market legislation

The president of Minnesota Farmers Union is encouraged by legislation in Congress that would address cattle market imbalances.

Gary Wertish suggests the current system is broken.

“A lot of it is whether you’re raising livestock on a contract or not. But if we don’t have transparency in the markets, are you really getting a fair contract? So I think that’s a good step.”

Speaking to Brownfield at Minnesota Farmfest last week, he said four packers control 85 percent of the beef industry.

“You could have a farmer at a smaller scale have the exact same genetics as somebody at a larger scale, maybe even feeding the same rations, but might get a substantially different price. So transparency in the market would help a lot to solving some of those issues.”

Earlier this year, the National Farmers Union endorsed the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act led by Republicans Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Deb Fischer of Nebraska.

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