In the words of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President-elect Don Schiefelbein, there are more cattle to be harvested than hooks to harvest them. With that imbalance, packers ration supply with lower prices at the cow-calf/feeder level. At the same time, the demand for beef is at an all-time high. “It would be okay if you trusted the packers, but I think if we did a poll with cattlemen to say do we trust the packer to do the right thing all the time, there wouldn’t be many hands in the air. We need to reinvigorate the trust.” Until trust is achieved, the Kimball, Minnesota producer said strong oversight of the beef supply chain is needed. During Farmfest, Schiefelbein was reminded about the ongoing Justice Department investigation into the cattle market. “We asked for that investigation in March of a year ago and I understand the wheels of justice go slowr, but if you can steal two years of someone’s life while you look into it, it’s probably not the right approach.”
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