Auction company 

New Senators Bill Expands Meat Processing to Auctions

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) introduced an aptly named bill, the Meat Processing Expansion Act of 2022 to allow livestock auctions to operate with small regional packing plants.

“It should be obvious to cut red tape, eliminate outdated regulations that hamper the livestock industry and increase processing capacity,” said Senator Ernst. “Allowing livestock auction owners to invest in local and regional meat packers will accelerate safe meat processing, increase competition within the industry and ultimately reduce meat costs. for consumers.”

“Related: Survey: Consumer Interest in Buying Local Beef Grows

The bill revises the Code of Federal Regulation acting as a companion bill to the House’s A-Plus Law, the Livestock Amplification Act in the United States. Currently, outdated regulations impede the ability of producers to expand the capacity of livestock processing facilities. The bill amends the Packers and Stockyards Act, remedying regulations that prohibit owners of livestock markets from owning and operating meatpacking plants.

“Allowing livestock auction owners to invest in local and regional meat packers will accelerate safe meat processing, increase competition within the industry and ultimately reduce processing costs. meat for consumers,” Ernst said.

Senators hope the bipartisan bill will be included in the Farm Bill, creating an avenue for increased competition in the packaging industry market while ultimately lowering meat prices for consumers. Currently, four processing plants control more than 85% of beef in the United States: Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS and National Beef.

Currently, the expansion of beef packaging is booming across the country. A fifth-generation South Dakota rancher plans to open an 8,000 head-a-day beef processing plant. Meanwhile, Amarillo has a new 3,000 head plant set to open next year, Nebraska is moving forward with a 1,500 head per day processing plant and Missouri is getting a 2,400 head plant. per day.

The legislation is supported by a number of outside national and local farm groups, including the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, the Livestock Marketing Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the US Cattlemen’s Association.

“The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association appreciates Senator Ernst’s commitment to supporting Iowa beef cattle producers,” said Bob Noble, president of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. “The daily slaughter capacity in Iowa is less than our production of fed cattle. We recognize the value of livestock auction markets in our supply chain, representing the interests of sellers and buyers. update of Packers and Stockyards Act enabling their participation in the small-scale and regional processing sector can facilitate a more competitive market outside the big four.

“Cattle auction owners are driving competition and should be able to move our industry forward with more competition and capacity in the packing business,” said Jon Schaben, owner of Dunlap Livestock Auction. “We appreciate Senator Ernst leading the charge to enable more investment in new local and regional packaging capacity.”

“The base construction of the stockyard model is a tired old throwback to a time when big corporations tried to control hard-working family farms,” said Chad Tentinger, lead developer at Cattlemen’s Heritage Beef Company and 4th generation Iowa cattle rancher. “Selling Barns are more efficient local family businesses that work in tandem with family farms for mutual benefit and to expand Iowa’s agricultural base.”

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