Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today continued working to ensure fair treatment for the nation’s cattle ranchers. Hoeven joined Senator Deb Fischer in pressing Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice to investigate suspected price manipulation and anticompetitive behavior in the cattle industry. The letter also supports a request from North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and ten other state attorneys general for an investigation into the cattle market.
“Our nation’s cattle ranchers are facing real challenges,” said Hoeven. “While consumers are paying more for their meat, our livestock producers are looking at lower prices for their cattle. Given that, we continue to make the case for USDA and DOJ to investigate price manipulation and unfair practices in the beef industry and consolidation in the packing industry. At the same time, we continue working with USDA to get assistance out to our producers as soon as possible. We need to keep all options on the table to support our ranchers and ensure they are being treated fairly.”
Hoeven has been working to support cattle ranchers, including:
· Making the case for DOJ to investigate price manipulation in the cattle market.
· Pressing USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to investigate continued allegations of price fixing within the cattle industry. USDA announced earlier this month that USDA is initiating an investigation. Hoeven has also repeatedly raised the issue with Greg Ibach, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, stressing the need for strong oversight to prevent anti-competitive behavior.
· Securing nearly $24 billion, including $9.5 billion in emergency funding specifically for ranchers and specialty producers, to support producers in the CARES Act.
Hoeven continues working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to get assistance out to cattle ranchers as quickly as possible, including direct payments under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). As chair of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured nearly $25 billion, including $9.5 billion in emergency funding specifically for ranchers and other specialty producers.
Hoeven has also been working with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, administration officials and farm state senators, including Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, John Boozman and Thom Tillis, to ensure food processing plants are able to safely operate, which is vital to maintaining the nation’s food supply and ensuring producers are able to market their products.