Iowa Cattlemen Call for Concurrent Investigations of 'Big Four' Packers

| May 17, 2021

Contact: Anna Hastert, Iowa Cattlemen's Association, 515-296-2266

Today, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack explicitly calling for concurrent investigations of market manipulation by the packing industry. 

Despite exceptionally high demand for beef in the United States and abroad, and steady plant throughput, cattle producers find themselves struggling to break even. The disparity between live cattle prices and boxed beef cutout value is not derived from a functioning market. This is not a response to an unexpected market disruption, but rather an outcome caused by the market manipulation of a few packers that control the vast majority of beef processing. 

The combination of limited competition, captive supply, and formula contracting has not only suppressed live cattle prices, but has also placed an exorbitant financial burden on the shoulders of cattle producers. Failure to act on this matter leaves the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Justice culpable for the countless cattle producers that will inevitably be starved out of the industry by corporate entities. How many more family farmers and ranchers do we need to lose before the Packers and Stockyards Act is enforced? 

Read the full letter here.

About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents nearly 9,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.”