A long-awaited conversation took place in a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing. This came on the heels of growing talk about cattle markets across the country. The hearing addressed a wide range of issues, including price discovery and differing industry views on how to achieve it, market transparency and oversight and beef processing capacity. Speaking first was St. Onge, South Dakota rancher Justin Tupper, who serves as vice president of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. Tupper said this hearing is critical because there is a crisis in rural America. “We, as cattle producers, understand and want the packer to make money. But, since 2015, corporate packers’ gross margins has ballooned from an average of $200 per head to well over $1,000 per head.” Representing the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was rancher Mark Gardiner of Kansas. Gardiner stressed that the wide-ranging market challenges cannot be remedied overnight. “The unintended consequences of regulated government mandates could potentially have a negative impact on the beef industry.” Listen to the story.