Jody Heemstra, 17 June 2021
The Senate Agriculture Committee has agreed to hold a hearing June 23, 2021, to examine the cattle market, including potential manipulation by meatpackers.
“South Dakota cattle producers are some of the hardest working people I know, and they have faced significant hardships that are jeopardizing their ability to stay in business,” said South Dakota Senator and longtime Senate Ag Committee member John Thune. “I’m glad to see that the Senate Agriculture Committee agreed to my request and is holding a hearing on this important issue next week. We need to hold the highly concentrated meatpacking industry accountable to both the producers who supply them and the consumers who depend on them, and this hearing marks significant progress. While this hearing is a step in the right direction, Justice Department leaders shouldn’t take their foot of the gas. They should continue their investigation, and I will continue urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing as soon as possible, too.”
Thune will question hearing witnesses on possible manipulation in the cattle markets and advocate for increased transparency for ranchers and consumers.
This hearing announcement follows a letter that Thune sent to Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman requesting a hearing to consider the challenges facing the livestock industry and the numerous bills that have been introduced that seek to improve the situation.