Senators Smith and Rounds say Biden EO gives farmers and ranchers more market power

Two Midwestern U.S. Senators say the Biden administration is taking steps to help give family farmers and ranchers more market power.

On a call with Brownfield Thursday morning, Minnesota Democrat Tina Smith and South Dakota Republican Mike Rounds praised President Biden’s recent Executive Order which includes directing USDA to revisit the Packers and Stockyards Act to ensure fair competition.

“We had to make it easier for farmers to actually sue these companies if they are being treated unfairly so that the farmer doesn’t have to prove that it impacts the entire industry. Those are positive steps.”

But Rounds and Smith agree congressional action is still necessary.

“The thing about executive orders is that they can be undone, so I think it’s our responsibility as legislators to weigh in and get some of these bills passed so that we can have some lasting change.”

Rounds tells Brownfield separate bills introduced in the Senate by Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Nebraska’s Deb Fischer both address cattle market manipulation by meatpackers and he and Smith would like to see the legislation blended together. 

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