NCBA encouraged by USDA investment in food system
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says they’re optimistic about the USDA’s announcement that it will invest more than $4 billion to strengthen the food system.
CEO Colin Woodall says NCBA expects significant investments to increase processing capacity across the US. “This is not about expanding capacity among the Big 4,” he says. “This is about expanding capacity with existing plants and bringing in new, local, and regional plants. That’s exactly what NCBA has been asking for.”
Woodall says the funding would provide longer-term solutions to some challenges, but the cattle industry also needs immediate relief.
And while not part of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better initiative, he says NCBA is hoping to see some resolution to labor challenges. “If we could just run at 100% capacity and be able to kill anywhere from 665,000 to 675,000 head cattle a week, that would, we believe, make a huge impact in cattle prices and also ensure we can keep the beef cast full,” he says.
Woodall says a nimble and durable beef supply is good for cattle producers and consumers.