Wyden Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Help Oregon Ranchers Stay in Business

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today with U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), introduced legislation that would restore transparency and accountability in the cattle market by establishing regional cash minimums and equipping producers with more market information. 

“Cattle ranchers and rural economies have been hit especially hard during the COVID-19 public health crisis. And that economic fallout gets compounded for Oregon producers who face both a lack of processing facilities and opaque cattle markets that add up to a serious disadvantage,” Wyden said. “This detailed and common-sense bipartisan bill would provide our state’s rural producers the transparency and accountability they need to negotiate fair prices, stay in business and continue generating jobs throughout Oregon.”   

The Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021 would:

1.     Establish regional mandatory minimum thresholds of negotiated cash and negotiated grid trades to enable price discovery in cattle marketing regions.

2.     Require USDA to create and maintain a publicly available library of marketing contracts between packers and producers in a manner that ensures confidentiality.

3.     Mandate that a packer report to USDA the number of cattle scheduled to be delivered for slaughter each day for the next 14 days and require USDA to report this information on a daily basis.

4.     Prohibit the USDA from using confidentiality as a justification for not reporting and makes clear that USDA must report all LMR information, and they must do so in a manner that ensures confidentiality.

Click here for a summary of the bill. Full text of the legislation is available here.

A web version of this release is here.