Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined Congressman Dusty Johnson (SD-AL) and House Committee on Agriculture Ranking Member Mike Conaway (TX-11) in introducing the Price Reform in Cattle Economies (PRICE) Act, a bill to increase transparency in the cattle market, improve risk management, and support new and expanding meat processors.
On July 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the ‘Box Beef & Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report’, which identified a number of systemic issues in the cattle market. Lucas joined Johnson and Conaway in introducing the PRICE Act in response to the findings of this report.
“From natural disasters to the fire in Holcomb, Kansas to the current health pandemic gripping our nation, cattle producers across our country have faced significant disruption. My chief concern is the well-being of my neighbors and the cattlemen and women who have been working diligently during these troubling times to continue to provide high-quality beef for the American consumer,” said Congressman Lucas. “Today, I’m proud to join Congressman Dusty Johnson (SD-AL) in introducing the PRICE Act, helping eliminate regulatory barriers for cattle ranchers and increasing the resources for these hard-working men and women. As we continue to weather economic and health conditions of the pandemic, Congress and USDA must provide solutions to ease the burdens currently felt by cattle ranchers.”
The cattle market faced extreme volatility following the Tyson Holcomb plant fire in 2019 and again during the COVID-19 pandemic. The PRICE Act provides greater price reporting and transparency, comprehensive risk management solutions, bolsters small processor and producer-owned cooperative processing opportunities, and updates the Packer and Stockyards Act to create a cattle contract library.
“Cattle country is hurting and has not fully recovered,” said Johnson. “USDA laid out several areas where Congress can implement real solutions to improve the market – the PRICE Act is the answer to many of the issues our ranchers have faced for years. Our producers want a fair market and fair prices and that’s what this bill delivers. Congress needs to deliver for cattle country.”
“Our nation’s cattle producers are facing unprecedented market challenges due to supply chain disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as last year’s fire at the Holcomb, KS beef plant,” said Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway. “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the PRICE Act, which offers a suite of consensus proposals that will improve the marketplace.”
The PRICE Act includes several pieces of bipartisan proposals, including Lucas’ Agricultural Security Risk Review Act and Livestock Risk Management & Education Act.
The PRICE Act is cosponsored by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway (R-TX), and Representatives Darren Soto (D-FL), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), David Rouzer (R-NC), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Jason Smith (R-MO), Tom Emmer (R-MN), and Jim Hagedorn (R-MN). It is also supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Click here to read a summary of the bill, section by section or here for the full bill text.